Named After Watch
Baylor was born in Washington, D.C., and named Elgin after the watch his father, John, was looking at the
moment Baylor was born. He didn't play basketball until about age 14, but as a senior at the all-black Spingarn High School in Washington, he became the first African-American named to the all-metropolitan team.
Baylor struggled academically, however, and enrolled at the College of Idaho on a football scholarship. He played no football there, but averaged 31.3 points per game in basketball and transferred to Seattle University, at the urging of Seattle auto dealer Ralph Monroe. College transfer rules required him to sit out one year. When Baylor returned to the court, he led the country in rebound point (20.3 per game) and earned a second-team All-America status. One year later, he was a first-team All-American as the Chieftains (now the Redhawks) reached the NCAA championship game, losing to Kentucky 84-72 in the final. Baylor scored 25 points and pulled down 19 rebounds, but the game was a lost. However, he did achieved a rarity in the NCAA tournament when he became one of the few players on a non-winning championship team to receive the most outstanding player award.