Ted Kitchel

Photo: IU Archives

Ted Kitchel is a former American basketball player who grew up in Cass County, Indiana and went on to play for Indiana University. He was part of the 1980-1981 National Championship team. Kitchel also represented the US in the 1982 FIBA World Championship. He was drafted 41st overall in the 1983 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks but ended up playing professionally in Italy. After his playing career, he was a regional broadcaster for IU basketball and high school football. Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2015, Kitchel has become an advocate for the cause and has raised thousands of dollars to support research efforts.

Ted Kitchel Biography

  • Name: Ted Daniel Kitchel
  • Nationality: USA
  • Age: 64 years old
  • Birthday: November 2, 1959
  • Born: Howard County, Indiana
  • High School: Lewis Cass (Walton, Indiana)
  • Height: 6’8″ (2.03 m)
  • Weight: 220 lb (100 kg)
  • Position: Forward
  • Seasons: 5 (1978-1979, 1979-1980, 1980-1981, 1981-1982, 1982-1983)
  • NBA Draft: 1983 / Round 2 / #41 overall by the Milwaukee Bucks
  • Jersey: #30
  • Post-playing career: Regional television IU color commentator

Ted Kitchel’s Seasons with the Hoosiers

1978-1979 Indiana Basketball Season
Bob Knight (8th Season)
22-12 (10-8 Big Ten)
4th Place Big Ten
πŸ… NIT Champions
1979-1980 Indiana Basketball Season
Bob Knight (9th Season)
21-8 (13-5 Big Ten)
πŸ† 1st Place Big Ten
πŸ… NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1980-1981 Indiana Basketball Season
Bob Knight (10th Season)
26-9 (14-4 Big Ten)
πŸ† 1st Place Big Ten
πŸ† 1981 NCAA Champions
1981-1982 Indiana Basketball Season
Bob Knight (11th Season)
19-10 (12-6 Big Ten)
4th Place Big Ten
πŸ… NCAA Second Round
1982-1983 Indiana Basketball Season
Bob Knight (12th Season)
24-6 (13-5 Big Ten)
πŸ† 1st Place Big Ten
πŸ… NCAA Sweet Sixteen

Ted Kitchel’s Indiana University Statistics

1978-1979 1 3 0 2 0.000 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0
1979-1980 22 4 154 16 50 0.320 7 12 0.583 28 15 6 2 15 24 39
1980-1981 34 27 748 113 243 0.465 88 103 0.854 113 46 17 3 43 87 314
1981-1982 29 28 928 204 385 0.530 160 183 0.874 141 55 18 9 72 90 568
1982-1983 24 23 768 145 284 0.511 124 252 0.492 21 32 0.656 104 121 0.860 99 52 9 0 54 58 415
Career 110 82 2601 478 964 0.496 124 252 0.492 21 32 0.656 359 419 0.857 381 168 51 14 186 259 1336

Ted Kitchel’s Early Life and High School Career

Kitchel grew up in Cass County, Indiana on a rural farm. He began playing basketball with a makeshift hoop hung from the rafters of a cement floored toolshed. He later attended Lewis Cass High School.

In high school, he was a three-year starter and was all-conference all three years. He was on the all-state team twice and was a member of the 1978 Indiana All-Star team. As a senior, Kitchel averaged 26.2 points and 13 rebounds leading the team to a 20-0 record. Cass also went on that season to win the school’s first sectional championship.

Kitchel later said, “That’s still by far my greatest basketball thrill – winning that sectional… Of course you have to understand how big high school basketball was then and how important winning a sectional at Cass was. Everyone who was important in my life was there that day. People from big schools can’t understand how big of a deal it was – they’re used to winning. But in the history of the school we had never won a sectional. [The championship] wasn’t just for me, it was for the whole community.”

Upon graduation, Kitchel was the program’s all-time leading scorer with 1630 career points.

Kitchel’s Indiana University Career

Kitchel played for the Hoosiers from 1978 to 1983.

His first season he only appeared in one game and only played three minutes. In those three minutes, he had a steal, missed two field goals, and had two turnovers. The season was essentially his redshirt year.

In the 1979-1980 season, he finally saw the court on a consistent basis. He appeared in 22 games, averaging about seven minutes per appearance. Kitchel found it difficult to get meaningful playing time that season because Indiana had a plethora of scoring, with four players averaging double-digit point totals, led by senior Mike Woodson’s 19.3 ppg (Woodson only appeared in 14 games due to injury) and freshman Isaiah Thomas’ 14.6 ppg. IU won 21 games that year. They were a #2-seed in the NCAA Tournament but lost to #6-seed Purdue in the Mideast Regional Semi-Final.

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Photo: Indiana Basketball Hall Of Fame

The next year Kitchel became an integral part of the Indiana squad that won the National Championship over North Carolina. He played in 34 games, starting 27, seeing 22 minutes of game action per appearance. He averaged 9.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game.

In 1981-1982, Kitchel had his best ever statistical season in the cream and crimson. He led the team in scoring and averaged 19.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. He shot 53% from the field and made on average seven shots per game on 13 attempts. Indiana went 19-10 and lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to UAB in a #5-#4 matchup.

After his junior year, Kitchel played for the US Men’s National Team in the 1982 FIBA World Championship in Columbia. His IU teammate Jim Thomas also was on the roster. The US won a silver medal after losing to the Soviet Union by one point in the Final. Kitchel played in six of the team’s nine games, averaging 2.2 points per appearance.

Photo: Indiana Basketball Hall Of Fame

As a senior, Kitchel continued to produce at a high level and was Indiana’s second-leading scorer. He posted 17.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game. The Hoosiers went 24-6 and were a #2-seed in the NCAA Tournament. They eventually lost to #3-seed Kentucky in the Mideast Regional Semi-Final.

Kitchel was the 41st overall pick in the 1983 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. However, he did not make the final roster and ended up playing in Italy.

Kitchel’s Post-Basketball Career

After his playing career, Kitchel found his second calling as a broadcaster. He was the voice of IU basketball on regional television and has also broadcast Indiana high school football.

His daughter, Mackenzie, played volleyball at Ball State.

In 2015, Kitchel was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Since his diagnosis, he and his family have dedicated themselves to charitable efforts to raise money for research.

In August 2019, Kitchel held a golf fundraiser that pulled in more than $42,000 to be donated to the cause. Among the people in the tournament was Kitchel’s former college roommate and NBA coach Randy Whitman.

To learn more about his charity and fundraising efforts, you can visit his research fund’s Facebook page: Here.

Ted Kitchel Videos

Contributor: Mike Pudlow