Kentucky great Cotton Nash dies at 80

Cotton Nash, the ninth all-time leading scorer in Kentucky history who later played in three professional sports leagues, died Tuesday at the age of 80.

Lexington attorney and Nash’s son Patrick told the Lexington Herald that his father had been battling health issues since Thanksgiving. Cotton Nash is survived by three children in all.

Nash scored 1,770 career points playing for Adolph Rupp from 1961-64, graduating as the top scorer in Kentucky history. He was first eclipsed by Dan Issel (2,138 points) in 1970. Nash’s 962 rebounds are still fifth all-time at UK.

He averaged a double-double in 78 career games at Kentucky — 22.7 points and 12.3 rebounds per game.

Nash went on to play in the NBA and Major League Baseball, one of only 13 ever to do it, according to Baseball Almanac. Nash also played in the American Basketball Association.

Nash averaged 3.0 points per game in 45 NBA games with the Los Angeles Lakers and San Francisco Warriors (1964-65). He averaged 8.5 points in 39 ABA games with the Kentucky Colonels (1967-68).

Nash went on to get 16 at-bats in 13 major league games with the Chicago White Sox (1967) and Minnesota Twins (1969-70).