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Claude Virden

When Claude Virden was inducted into the Murray State Hall of Fame in 2002, the program lauded the former Central High All-City performer, ranking him as one of the all-time Murray State basketball greats. Playing for the Racers from 1967-70, Virden was a first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference and Player of the Year selection in 1969 and repeated All-OVC honors in 1970. During his career Virden scored 1,490 total points to rank 4th on the MSU all-time scoring list. Virden was part of two OVC championships (1968 and 1969) under head coach Cal Luther. In 1968-69 he led all Racers in scoring with 23.5 points per game and then averaged 20.4 in 1969-70. He is also ninth on the career rebounds list with 778 and second all-time in career field goals with 275. Virden served in the service for two years (1970-71) most of the time at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. He then went on to play the 1972-73 season with the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association. The Colonels compiled a 56-28 record, finishing second in the Eastern Division with the likes of Artis Gilmore, Dan Issel and Rick Mount on the squad. In the playoffs, the Colonels downed the Virginia Squires and the Carolina Cougars before losing the ABA championship to the Indiana Pacers in seven games. Virden only played 30 games for the Colonels during the season because a knee injury not only cut short his season, but ended his basketball career. The 6’-5” standout averaged nine points and six rebounds during his short professional career. Virden and his wife Gail have five adult children and adopted his 12 year-old nephew who currently lives at the family home in Akron. He works for the Cleveland Plain Dealer in the circulation department.

Inducted 2005 | Basketball