Former Wisconsin basketball star, prominent booster Ab Nicholas dies at 85
The Wisconsin family lost a loving member Thursday.
Albert “Ab” Nicholas, a former basketball star who became a prominent booster for the program, died at 85.
Nicholas started as a guard for the Badgers from 1949-1952 and was a second-team All-American as a senior. After two years in the military, he returned to Madison to earn a master’s degree in finance and investment. He then started an investment management firm in Milwaukee.
Following a successful career — per Wisconsin’s alumni website, Nicholas Company managed $6.5 billion in mutual funds — Nicholas donated $10 million to help fund the construction of the Kohl Center in 1995. In 2015, he and his wife donated $50 million to help fund scholarships at Wisconsin, both for athletes and students.
“He took great pride in wearing the W,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard told the Wisconsin State-Journal. “On top of what he did philanthropically for the university, he was an even better person. The conversations were always great. He was always very inspiring and motivating. It’s a huge loss for the Badger family.”