Forest Arnold, a native of Puxico, Missouri, came to then Memphis State College in the fall of 1952 to play for head coach Eugene Lambert. The big forward would take the program on his shoulders and is often credited as being the player that first put Tiger basketball under a national spotlight.
As a freshman Arnold scored 394 points in 24 games and averaged 16.4 points per contest. During his second season of competition, he scored a team leading 483 points and grabbed 260 rebounds in helping his team to a 15-9 mark. He was named to Converse's All-America team for the first time in 1954. As a junior Arnold totaled 426 points and 238 rebounds and the Tigers finished the season with a 17-5 record and defeated nationally ranked Mississippi State, 94-68.
Memphis received an invitation to the NCAA Tournament and Arnold was named to the Converse and United Press International All-America teams. In his final campaign for the Tigers, Arnold had 551 points and 351 rebounds and the team finished the year with a 20-7 record. The Tigers played in the NCAA Tournament in Wichita, Kansas. He was again named to the Converse and UPI All-America teams.
Arnold, an ordained minister, lives in Springfield, Missouri, and serves as the athletic director and a faculty member at Central Bible College.