Hometown: Middletown, OH (High)
Position: F Playing Height: 6-5 Playing Weight: 200
Date of Birth: November 8, 1929
Date of Death: August 5, 2008
Additional Photos: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
Action Photos: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12)
Game by Game Statistics
Kentucky Career Notes:
Transferred from Miami (OH)
1950-51: All-NCAA Final Four Team; All-SEC [Second Team (AP)]
Obituary - Former Middie, UK basketball great passes away, Middletown (OH) Journal (August 5, 2008) by Rick McCrabb
MIDDLETOWN - Basketball great, teacher and preacher Shelby Linville, who won two state championships at Middletown High School and a national championship at University of Kentucky, died today, Aug. 5. He was 78.
Linville, who was born in Dayton, Ky., on Nov. 8, 1929, moved to Middletown when he was 15.
Linville played for the Middletown Middies in 1946-47, the late coach Paul Walker's first year at the helm. At 6-foot-5, Linville was considered a giant at the time.
The Middies won the state title in Linville's junior season.
In his senior year, Linville set a team record with 39 points against Dayton Fairview, a record that stood until Jerry Lucas came along a few years later.
When Linville was looking for a college, teammates urged him to call Adolph Rupp, the legendary UK coach who was the guest speaker at the Middies banquet honoring the '47 state champs. Linville signed at UK and averaged 10.4 points per game in his junior season. He was being hailed as an All-American candidate for his senior year.
But Linville will forever be remembered for his great performance in the NCAA Tournament as a junior. He proved himself to be, as the basketball media guide the next year pointed out, "one of the greatest clutch players in Kentucky's cage history."
In the national semifinals against Illinois, Linville scored points in every crucial stage of the game, including the eventual game-winning basket with 17 seconds remaining.
The Wildcats went on to defeat Kansas State for the national championship, the school's third national title.
He is also remembered for scoring the first basket in Kentucky's Memorial Coliseum.
Since Linville played for the Wildcats and Middies, the late Ed "Skeeter" Payne, a former MHS athletic director, once said he had the best of both worlds.
When his basketball career ended, Linville taught and coached basketball at several schools and planted numerous churches, including one in Middletown.
Linville has said he read the Bible 308 times.
Jim Porter, a close friend, said Linville will be remembered as "a giver" because he started churches using his own savings and retirement money.
For the past six years, Linville has undergone prostate cancer surgery, angioplasty, an abdominal aneurysm, and recently battled bone cancer. Through all his medical battles, Porter said Linville "fought like a Wildcat."
Linville, a member of the Middletown High School and Butler County athletic halls of fame, was inducted into the Pigskin-Roundball Spectacular Gold Medal Club in 2003.
He is survived by his wife, Yvonne; three sons, Phil and Joni, Hamilton, Rick, Missouri, and Russ and Paula, Middletown; 10 grandchildren and one grandchild.
His body has been donated to Wright State University Medical School. A celebration of life service will be scheduled at a later date.