Basketball great Joe Ruklick has passed from natural causes at the age of 82.
Ruklick, was born in Chicago but was moved to Covenant Children’s Home in Princeton at age 11. He was cut from the PHS freshman basketball team but would persevere and go on to lead the Tigers to state tournament appearances in 1954 and 1955.
Ruklick was an All-American at Northwestern University. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Warriors and will be remembered for passing the ball for the assist on Wilt Chamberlain’s final score in his record 100-point game in 1962. Chamberlain and Ruklick, who played against each other in college, remained friends until Chamberlain’s passing in 1999.
After his NBA career, Ruklick became an investment banker, a father of three and earned a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern at the age of 50.
Ruklick spoke with WZOE while attending a PHS basketball game in 2010 in which his uniform was being retired. Here is his visit with the voice of the Tigers, Norm Vandermoon.