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Texas Tech Basketball Legends: Jim Reed

Photo CC: Texas Tech

When Jim Reed would roll out of bed on the west Texas plains between 1952-1956, Red Raider fans knew he was going to put up a double-double. Students walking through the engineering key would need to be on guard because this Texas Tech Basketball legend dominated “keys” in his four seasons.

The 6-foot-4 forward from Pine Bluff, Arkansas averaged 18 points and 14 rebounds per game for his career and averaged a double-double in all four seasons he played. After Reed finished his career with the Red Raiders, he held multiple major scoring and rebounding records. Some of those including career points (1,697) and career rebounds (1,330). Since then, he still ranks 10th all-time in scoring and 1st in rebounding. The rebounding record is likely one that will never be broken. The nickname “Mr. Glass” would have been appropriate for a man who did not tower over everyone on the court by any means. So how did he develop his elite-level rebounding ability?

“There was a Boys Club in Pine Bluff where all the kids hung out and they had a gym,” Reed said. “Well, it was an under-funded Boys Club, and they only had two basketballs for about 20 to 25, 30 kids, and the only way you got to shoot was to get the ball off the backboard when someone else shot. So I learned where the ball was coming off and, against bigger kids, I had to out-jump them.”

Credit: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

He earned All-American honors twice in his career. As a junior, he was selected to the 3rd team and earned 1st team honors as a senior. Reed was a 3-time First-Team All-Border Conference selection as well as a 3-time Border Conference Most Valuable Player. Reed’s individual dominance also resulted in great team achievements for Texas Tech. He led Texas Tech to 3 straight Border Conference titles and 2 invites to the NCAA Tournament.

His recognition includes being inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of fame in 1967. He was also honored in 2013 at the Progressive Legends Classic. In 2019, Reed would be inducted into Texas Tech’s basketball Ring of Honor.

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