Kenny Arnold Passes Away

Kenny Arnold, a former guard for the University of Iowa basketball program, passed away early Saturday morning, April 27, 2019 at the nursing home where he resided southwest of Chicago. His long-time teammate and best friend Mike Henry was at his side. Arnold was 59 years old.

“He was comfortable and it was a peaceful transition at the end,” said Henry.

For 35 years, Arnold battled complications from a brain tumor and multiple strokes, which limited his mobility and ability to speak. Throughout his health issues, he was a positive, courageous and inspiring person who touched more lives than he could ever know.

A three-year starter at Iowa, Arnold led the 1980 Final Four team in points and assists as a sophomore. He remains second all-time in minutes played in the NCAA Tournament in Hawkeye history (350).

“Kenny was a winner and a leader,” said Henry. “Through his positive attitude and courageous fight, he was a tremendous example for all of us. He was a wonderful friend and always had a smile for everyone. Kenny greatly appreciated all the love and support that he received from the Iowa fan base through the years. That support helped fuel his determination to keep going.”
In 2017, the Hawkeye program initiated the Kenny Arnold Spirit Award, which is presented annually to the Iowa basketball player who best exemplifies Arnold’s leadership, character, courage, determination and poise.

The Kenny Arnold Foundation was established in his name to generate funds for cancer research and education.

Details about funeral arrangements are pending.


  • Scored 1,112 points
  • Handed out 352 assists (10th all-time in Iowa history)
  • Led Final Four team in points and assists (1980)
  • Played on Iowa’s last Big Ten champion (1979)
  • During his four years, Iowa finished 1st, 4th, 2nd and 2nd in the Big Ten
  • Second all-time in Iowa history for minutes played in the NCAA Tournament (350)
  • Fourth in Iowa history for points scored in Final Four games (39)
  • One of three players in Iowa history to score 20+ points in a Final Four game (Carl Cain, Bill Logan, Kenny Arnold)
  • Never left he court in the last game of his Iowa career (45 minutes)
  • One of six Hawkeyes to finish career with at least 1,100 points, 350 assists, 250 rebounds and 80 steals.




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In 1980, Kenny Arnold led the Iowa basketball team to the Final Four. Then, for the last 30+ years, he faught health issues, including a brain tumor and several strokes, have limited his mobility, robbed him of his ability to speak and left him in a state of chronic pain.

Arnold's former Iowa teammates and coaches, and the entire Hawkeye Basketball Family stayed in contact with Arnold throughout his medical and financial challenges. Today, Arnold's Hawkeye Basketball Family -- his "Teammates For Life" -- have dedicated their efforts to help defray his expenses, provide items for him that he may need, as well as provide for others in need in his name through this foundation.

Become a "Teammate For Life" today for your OWN friend, family member or loved one, who is suffering (or has suffered) from cancer. Nobody can battle cancer alone. People fighting cancer need support, both physically and emotionally. That's where their "Teammates For Life" come in! Whether they need a helping hand, a little extra support, a 30-minute visit or some other sign that simply says "I am here for you ... you are not in this alone."

Kenny Arnold's Story

The last time the Iowa Hawkeyes earned a trip to college basketball's Final Four was in 1980, and Kenny Arnold led that team in both points and assists. He was a sophomore guard for Coach Lute Olson's team that battled through knee injuries to its All-American point guard Ronnie Lester, as well as injuries to Arnold (broken thumb), Bobby Hansen (hand), Mark Gannon (knee), and a plane crash that seriously injured Assistant Coach Tony McAndrews.

Perseverance and teamwork carried the Hawkeyes in that magical season. Then perseverance and teamwork guided Arnold's former teammates to assist the Hawkeye great, who lived in a skilled nursing facility in Chicago.

"Kenny was always a tremendous leader," says former teammate Mike "Tree" Henry. "At the time of his initial diagnosis, the doctors gave him a 10 percent chance of surviving. Well, 32 years later Kenny was still fighting. We were all so inspired by how he lived his life, and we want to do something special to honor Kenny, and to help motivate people out there who are facing similar battles."

Henry is the Executive Director of the Kenny Arnold Foundation, which has a mission to raise funds to be directed toward cancer research and education, as well as to assist families who have been affected by cancer.

"Kenny was and still is such an inspiration," says Henry. "So we want to share his story and inspire others to keep fighting, as well as motivate those who can help others to take action and become a part of someone's 'Teammates For Life.'"


Kenny Arnold Continues
to Inspire


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Show Support For Kenny ... Or For Someone You Know Who Has Battled Cancer!

Order a shirt in memory of Kenny Arnold. Show your appreciation for the 1980 Hawkeyes and the way they stuck together, supporting their teammate through the most difficult of times ... and pay tribute to Kenny and his "Teammates For Life!"

Or order a shirt to show that you're a part of the "Teammates For Life" for your own friend, family member or loved one, who is suffering (or has suffered) from cancer. Make this shirt a symbol for you to say, "Fighting cancer is a TEAM effort ... and I am part of my loved one's "Teammates For Life!"

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1979-80 Eastern Regional Championships NCAA Semi-Finalists

Funds raised benefit the American Cancer
Society's cancer research efforts.