Kenny Arnold, the Iowa basketball star who led the Hawkeyes to their last Final Four in 1980, died Saturday. He was 59.

He had health issues for more than 30 years, the school said. Teammates say he died in the Chicago area. Arnold had limited speech and mobility from a brain tumor and several strokes.

Arnold played for Iowa from 1979-82. During the Final Four run he led his team in scoring despite a broken thumb. With Arnold, Iowa appeared in four NCAA tournaments and won the 1979 Big Ten title.

Arnold averaged 11.7 points and 3.9 assists as a junior. He was a third-team All-Big Ten pick as a senior.

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said Iowa "lost one of the most inspirational players our program has ever had."

"Kenny always had a smile on his face and cared most about the happiness of others," McCaffery added. "His spirit and legacy will not be forgotten."

Iowa introduced the Kenny Arnold Spirit Award in 2017, honoring the player who exemplifies his character, courage and poise.

Funeral arrangements are pending.


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