George Yardley Passes Away At Age 75

Aug. 17, 2004

Newport Beach, Ca - Funeral services are slated for Thursday (8/19/04) in Newport Beach for George Yardley, who starred in basketball for Stanford University from 1947-50 and later went on to a highly productive career in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Yardley, a member of the National Basketball Hall of Fame, died August 12, at his home in Newport Beach at age 75. Yardley had been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) in April, 2003. Yardley, as a sophomore in 1947-48, was the team's 12th man, scoring 52 points in 18 games. But he started as a junior and averaged 12.3 points. Yardley then came into his own as a senior. He led the Cardinal in scoring at 16.9 points and his 423 points broke Hank Luisetti's 12-year-old Pacific Coast Conference scoring record. Yardley was a walk-on and never did received a scholarship at Stanford. After graduating from Stanford, Yardley played three years of AAU basketball with Stewart Chevrolet and at the Los Alamitos Naval Air Base. From there, Yardley became one of the top players in the NBA, winning All-Star honors six times. Yardley was the NBA's top scorer during the 1957-58 season (27.8 ppg) and was the first player in league history to top 2,000 points in one season. Yardley averaged 19.2 ppg in seven NBA seasons. Yardley was the first NBA rookie to stage a contract holdout. Yardley didn't believe the $6,000 offered by the Ft. Wayne Pistons was enough. He didn't sign until the Pistons upped the offer to $9,600 (more than double the average rookie salary) and tossed in a $1,500 signing bonus. The year was 1953. In 1960, Yardley, who earned bachelor's and master's degrees at Stanford, started the George Yardley Co., a manufacturer's representative for engineered products that remains in operation in Fountain Valley (Orange County, Ca). Yardley, a member of the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame, is survived by four children, sons Rich and Rob and daughters Marilyn Nagle and Anne Caldwell, and 14 grandchildren.TM

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