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Kentucky Colonels forward Wendell Ladner was a popular player in Louisville. He was especially admired by female fans, due to his resemblance to Burt Reynolds.
In 1973, the Colonels decided to capitalize on Ladner's good looks by producing a "beefcake" poster (above left). The team had him pose (a la Burt Reynolds in Cosmopolitan magazine) wearing only his Colonels shorts, and holding a red, white and blue ABA basketball. The posters were so popular that they sold out in only a few days.
The Colonels also sold a special game program (above right). To appeal to the ladies, the program showed Ladner in a number of sexy, artistic poses, and was signed "With Love, Wendell Ladner."
Wendell Ladner Tribute Page
Kentucky Colonels History Page