Although he ended his collegiate career as one of Akron U’s all-time leading scorers, Whaley didn’t play basketball at Akron’s East High. Instead, he developed his skills in the U.S. Air Force, eventually earning All-Air Force honor in 1953-54. After his enlistment was up, Whaley enrolled at Akron U on the recommendation of another all-time Zip great, Mike Harkins. Whaley immediately became a regular, playing in every game in his four seasons, in which time Akron U compiled a 76-23 record. The Zips won 21 consecutive games during Whaley’s junior season. He was all conference three consecutive years, concluding his career by scoring 351 points as a senior, earning honorable mention All-American honors from the United Press International. He scored a career total of 1,217, fifth on the all-time list at the time. Whaley later played for the Cleveland Pipers, who won the 1961 National AAU championship.