Northwestern University Basketball Films, 1956-1959: The Joe Ruklick Collection

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Joe Ruklick, Big Ten All-Star 1956-58

Joe Ruklick (SESP 1959, Medill 1990) has many memories of playing basketball for Northwestern in the late 1950s.

Ruklick began playing basketball when he was 12 (and nearly 6' tall), and by his senior year in high school was named a high-school All-American. Then 6'9" and recruited by a number of colleges, he chose Northwestern, where he led the team in rebounding and scoring for three consecutive years. Ruklick's career points per game (19.9) and rebounds per game (13.9) averages remain at the top of NU's record book.  In addition to being named an All Big Ten selection (1957-58) and All-American (1958), Ruklick was a reporter for the Daily Northwestern and a member of the Deru honorary society.

After graduation, Ruklick was drafted by the NBA Philadelphia Warriors, where he played with Wilt Chamberlain for three seasons. Ruklick will be remembered for assisting on the final points of Chamberlain's legendary 100-point scoring effort in a 169-147 victory over the New York Knicks. After retiring from basketball, Ruklick worked in  business and journalism, and served for several years as a beat reporter and associate editor for the Chicago Defender.

In 1984, Northwestern University recognized Ruklick as a charter member of its Athletic Hall of Fame.Joe Ruklick, 2010

Read more about Joe Ruklick

Joe Ruklick donated his collection of 14 basketball game films to the Northwestern University Archives. Archives digitized the films and now is pleased to be able to provide access to them through this site. These black-and-white, silent films run between 25-40 minutes each--so get some popcorn and settle in for some good viewing of remarkable players, teams, and games.


Basketball Films: Joe Ruklick Collection

Game (all home, NU in white)

Date Winner Score
NU vs Pittsburgh 12/8/1956  Pittsburgh  73-71
NU vs Iowa 1/21/1957 NU 70-63
NU vs Kansas 12/7/1957  Kansas  71-65
NU vs Michigan 1/11/1958  NU  93-72
NU vs Ohio State University 2/10/1958  NU  78-76
NU vs Iowa 2/24/1958  Iowa  86-78
NU vs University of Illinois 3/8/1958  NU  88-72
NU vs Maryland 12/6/1958  NU  66-62
NU vs Notre Dame 12/31/1958  NU  102-67
NU vs Iowa 1/3/1959  NU  80-77
NU vs Indiana 1/10/1959  Indiana  76-69
NU vs Minnesota 1/19/1959  Minn  71-67
NU vs Purdue 2/14/1959  Purdue  65-63
NU vs Michigan State 2/16/1959  MSU  71-68

1956-1957 Basketball Team

 NU's 1956-57 basketball team (Courtesy Syllabus)  

1957-1958 Basketball Team 1957 basketball team

1958-1959 Basketball Team

 NU's 1959 basketball team (courtesy NU Syllabus yearbook)

For more information about these basketball games, and other athletic events at Northwestern from tug-of-war to ultimate Frisbee, contact the University Archives at See our website at; follow us on Twitter; become a fan on Facebook.

The webmaster thanks Nick Cizek, Stefan Elnabli, Sarah McVicar, and the Chicago Film Archives for their help with this site. Yearbook photos courtesy of the Students Publishing Company. And thanks again to Joe Ruklick for his contribution to NU's history.