BCD alum to be inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame

August 11, 2010

Contact: Carolyn Cox, 214-828-8214

Dr. Jay Arnette, 1960 Olympic Gold Medalist

DALLAS—August 11, 2010— Fifty years ago, the U.S. Olympic basketball team brought home the gold medal from the 1960 Olympics in Rome. This remarkable team—all amateurs—posted such unequalled statistics that its members will be inducted Friday night into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Equally intriguing: Two of the 12 team members went on to become orthodontists. One of these is Dr. Jay Arnette, who graduated from Baylor College of Dentistry in 1971 and its orthodontic graduate program in 1973. Now retired, he practiced in Austin, Texas, for more than 30 years.

Arnette was a standout 6’2” guard for the University of Texas when the Olympic folks came calling. He later played professional basketball in the 1960s with the Cincinnati Royals. After completing pharmacy school and working as a pharmacist, he spoke at length with his fiancee’s father, who was a dentist and encouraged him to consider the profession. A visit to Baylor College of Dentistry and a conversation with the dean, who was a huge basketball fan, led to Arnette’s enrollment and future career in dentistry.

The dental school’s Baylor Burrs basketball team created a sensation in Arnette’s era, winning the city championship and advancing to the state playoffs. Little did the league know that a former professional player and Olympic gold medalist was in their midst. Arnette’s classmates knew, though, and many came to every game to cheer on their team.

Arnette says he stayed very busy between dental school, the basketball team and working as a pharmacist to support his family, but the friendships he formed in dental school have lasted to this day.

He was a star in academics as well as basketball, earning selection to Omicron Kappa Upsilon dental scholastic honor society and receiving the American Association of Orthodontists award upon graduation. He served as president of his class all four years and as a yearbook editor.

The Aug. 13 Enshrinement 2010 ceremony will also feature the induction of the “Dream Team” of 1992, the Olympic-winning team of legendary professional basketball players the likes of Michael Jordan, Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr., Larry Bird, Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen, who brought home the Olympic gold medal from Barcelona, Spain.

The Hall of Fame events will take place in Springfield, Mass., at Symphony Hall at 7 p.m. EDT, preceded by a Red Carpet Show at 6 p.m. EDT. The proceedings will be broadcast live on the NBA Channel and streamed live on the NBA website at www.nba.com.

— Arthur Upton