Joseph Franklin Fulks
October 26, 1921
March 21, 1976
Birmingham/Kuttawa at Birmingham/Kuttawa, KY (High School)
Murray State (also attended Milsaps?) (College)
1946-47 Philadelphia Warriors (BAA)
1947-48 Philadelphia Warriors (BAA)
1948-49 Philadelphia Warriors (BAA)
1949-50 Philadelphia Warriors (NBA)
1950-51 Philadelphia Warriors (NBA)
1951-52 Philadelphia Warriors (NBA)
1952-53 Philadelphia Warriors (NBA)
1953-54 Philadelphia Warriors (NBA)
NATIONAL BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME, 1978
Fulks served in the Marines during World War 2. After his service, he became one of the great stars of the NBA, with a sweet jump shot that dazzled the fans. He became the first NBA player to score 50 points in a game.. Fulks was a heavy drinker, and his drinking problem, which had started prior to his time in the Marines, progressively got worse as his basketball career went on. After his playing career, he returned to Kentucky and bounced from job to job. In 1971, he was working in a chemical plant, and later got a job at a prison as a recreation director.
One night in 1976, he was drinking with the son of his girlfriend, a man by the name of Greg Bannister. After a long night of drinking, the two started arguing and Bannister told Fulks to leave his trailer. Fulks refused, and Bannister retrieved a shotgun and killed Fulks with a blast to the neck. Bannister was found guilty of reckless homicide and sentenced to four and a half years in prison, of which he served two years.
Fulks was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 1978.