TSGS Cruiser Blog

Friday, February 11, 2011

"Hobbies, Sports & Basketball"

For most of us in Southern Indiana... Basketball is tops. We have had great players & coaches in high school, college & professional levels of the game of basketball. Growing up, I loved basketball, playing on the Selvin [Indiana] School basketball team from 5th. grade through the end of my Freshman year. Bear in mind that I was very short and was not very good, but the school was so small they needed me in case one or two players did not show or fouled out. I watched most of all of our games right there on the bench right next to the coach. I got in free to the games, too!

There were lots of famous players like Larry Bird, Steve Alford, Ed Smallwood, Calbert Cheaney, Walter McCarty, Scott Haffner, Kwame James, Richie Schueler and coaches like Bobby Knight of Indiana University and Arad McCutchan from Evansville College in Southern Indiana!

One of the greatest local players was Jerry Sloan,who was born 28 Mar 1942 & at nearly age 70, resigned as the head coach of the NBA Utah Jazz basketball team in his 23rd. year of coaching the team on 10 Feb 2011. Sloan holds the record for coaching the same team over the longest tenure. Before becoming a coach Sloan was an NBA basketball star for the Chicago Bulls. He is in the Basketball Hall of Fame as a Coach. You can just Google the name "Jerry Sloan" for the many records that he holds as a coach & NBA player.

Sloan was born in McLeansboro, Illinois and came to Evansville College to play basketball leading the Purple Aces to two consecutive NCAA Division II National Championships!

Sloan & Larry Humes at Evansville played a lot like John Stockton & Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz. I attended Evansville College about that time of this great Aces dynasty. It was not University of Evansville until about 2-3 years after Sloan graduated from Evansville College. In 1965, the Aces with Sloan had a perfect season (29-0) winning the NCAA Division II National Championship at Roberts Stadium with standing room only. My friend at the time, Dennis Avery, and I stood the whole game way above the bleachers to watch one of the most exciting games in local basketball history! Evansville defeated Southern Illinois by only one to three points in overtime! Evansville beat the SIU team 3 times that season by a total of about 6 points! They were pretty much evenly matched with the Aces being lucky enough to win all 3 times! Sloan was a 3-year All-American at Evansville.

-Written by JGWest

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