Basketball Hall of Fame set to welcome legends


Daily Reporter staff reports

NEW CASTLE — The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame welcomes its 54th class of inductees and honors other Indiana boys high school basketball legends today in ceremonies to be conducted at Primo Banquet Hall in Indianapolis.

Highlighting the evening’s ceremony, 14 men and one team will be inducted into the hall, recognized with the highest honor bestowed in Indiana high school basketball.

Among individuals to be inducted are 1941 Indiana Mr. Basketball John Bass (deceased), along with four Indiana All-Stars: Harold “Buster” Briley (1960, Madison), Danny Brown (1973, Jennings County), Rick Goins (1976, Rushville) and Marv Pruett (1959, Springs Valley).

Roger Schroder was a member of the 1954 Milan state champion squad, and Harry Flournoy (Gary Emerson 1962) captained the 1966 NCAA champion Texas Western Miners. Bill Depp (Edinburgh 1957), Vic Molodet (East Chicago Washington 1952) and Dean Weirich (Northridge 1972) followed up outstanding high school careers with college all-conference and/or All-American honors.

Dan Sparks (Bloomington 1963) enjoyed success as a player at Vincennes University and Weber State and in the American Basketball Association before becoming Indiana’s all-time winningest college coach in his 33-year stint at Vincennes University.

Jerry Lewis (Reelsville 1958) will be inducted after graduating as Reelsville’s all-time leading scorer, earning national NAIA records at Indiana Central College and winning 354 games as an Indiana high school coach, most notably at Norwell High School.

The 1985 Marion Giants team will be inducted on the 30th anniversary year of their 29-0 undefeated state championship team. The 1985 Giants were the sixth undefeated state champion team in the history of the Indiana boys basketball state tournament and become the eighth boys team inducted in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

The recipient of this year’s Centennial Award to recognize contributions to Indiana high school basketball from 100 or more years ago is Herman “Suz” Sayger (Culver 1914) who is inducted posthumously.

Sayger scored 113 points in one game versus Winamac in 1913, which remains a state single-game record. In later life, he became a coach, publisher and promoter, hosting an exhibition game in 1932 that may have been the first in history to incorporate a three-point field goal.

Indiana Pacers 2015 Silver Medal Award recipient Jimmy Dimitroff (Indianapolis Washington 1948) is noted for officiating more than 7,000 games in his career, including five State Finals, the annual Indiana-Kentucky All-Star games, the Hall of Fame Classic as well as numerous college conference games.

Three men, Don Koester of Crown Point, Don Nester of Indianapolis and the late Danny Jacobs of Ellettsville, will be recognized with the Center Circle Officials Award.

Eighteen men will be recognized as members of the 2015 Silver Anniversary Team — acknowledging their spot as one of the top senior basketball players in Indiana 25 years ago.

The 1965 Indianapolis Washington team will be recognized for the 50th anniversary of their state championship; the 1990 Bedford North Lawrence team will be honored on the 25th anniversary of their state championship; and the 1915 Thorntown Keewasakees will be remembered 100 years after their state championship win.

A reception, open to the public and free of charge, will take place today at the Hall of Fame museum in New Castle between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.