Illini mourn loss of Johnny 'Red' Kerr -

Illini mourn loss of Johnny 'Red' Kerr

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (KMOV) -- The University of Illinois is deeply saddened to report the death of Johnny "Red" Kerr.

Kerr was a former Illinois basketball player. Born in 1932, he lost a battle with prostate cancer at age 76.

The 6-foot 9 Kerr played for the Fighting Illini in the 1950s. During his collegiate career, he scored 1,299 points and in 1952 helped guide Illinois to a win in the Big Ten Championship and advanced to the NCAA Final Four.

Kerr began his NBA career when the Syracuse Nationals drafted him with the sixth overall pick in the 1954 draft.

He coached the Chicago Bulls from 1966-1968 and became an announcer for the Bulls after retiring.

Kerr's voice is synonymous with Bulls broadcasts, especially during the Michael Jordan era in the 1990s.

On Sept. 30, 2008, Kerr returned to the Assembly Hall to have his number hung in the rafters during an alumni basketball game dubbed A Night of Legends.

Kerr is survived by five children -- Ed, Matt, Jim, Bill and Essie -- and 10 grandchildren.

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