Museum’s Basketball Memories Roundtable Pivots to Era of Changes

 

The Daviess County Museum will host it’s second-annual Basketball Memories Roundtable on Saturday, March 3rd beginning at 1 PM. This year’s panel will feature Daviess County high school basketballstars of the 1960s relating their experiences as athletes during a period of change and upheaval both on and off the court.

The museum is located at 212 E. Main St. in Washington. The panel discussion will be broadcast live from 1:00 to 3:3:30 PM on Memories 107.9 WAMW. Admission is free, but seating is limited and will be granted on a first-come first-serve basis. Afterward there will be a public meet-and-greet with the special guests until 5 PM. Once again this year museum volunteers will be serving “concession stand” food and drinks throughout the afternoon.

On the court, the 1960s were dominated by the Washington Hatchets, who won six out of 10 sectional title and celebrated the opening of the state-of-the-art Hatchet House gymnasium in 1967. Meanwhile, throughout the state school consolidation was changing the landscape of education and basketball.

“The 1960’s saw schools across Indiana consolidating due to changes to state funding,” said Daviess County Historical Society President Doug Dougherty. “In 1959 there were 710 schools that participated in the IHSAA boys basketball tournament. By 1969, this number had dropped to 468 schools.”

The changes affected Daviess County as well, Dougherty noted. Throughout the decade  Epsom, Elnora, Montgomery, Alfordsville, Plainville, and Odon were closed or consolidated, leaving by 1969 the four major Daviess County schools that we have today: Washington, Washington Catholic, North Daviess, and Barr-Reeve.

“Consolidation was controversial, and old timers are still cussing and discussing it, much the way many argue about single-class versus 4-class basketball,” Dougherty said. “I expect it will be one of the topics discussed during our forum in addition to the great teams and players we had during this truly great decade of Daviess County basketball.”

Guests of the Basketball Memories Roundtable: The 1960s are:

Sam Alford (Washington 1958-60): A multi-sport star, Alford led the Hatchets to a sectional title in 1960 before embarking on a legendary career as a high school and college coach. Sam is a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, and father of Steve Alford, who led Indiana University to the NCAA championship in 1987, and is currently the head coach at UCLA.

Steve Brothers (Washington Catholic 1969-71) A mainstay of Cardinal teams in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, Brothers later coached the Washington girls’ basketball teams for 14 seasons, winning 10 Big 8 titles and earning a trip to the single class final four in 1995.

Steve Fisher (Plainville/North Daviess 1965-69) After starting for the Plainville Midgets his first three years, Fisher led the Cougars to 18 wins in their inaugural season and became a school administrator and well-regarded high school sports official. Steve will be inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame on March 21st.

Galen Graber (Barr-Reeve 1965-67) A starter on the first two consolidated Barr-Reeve teams (including a sectional finalist), Graber later served 32 years on the Barr-Reeve school board.

Larry “Buddy” Graham (Odon 1958-60) Odon’s all-time leading scorer, Graham anchored the ’59 semi-state finalists, and had a successful high school and college coaching career across the Midwest.  Buddy is a member of the Illinois, Indiana and Missouri Basketball Hall of Fames.

Gary Grider (Washington 1960-63) Grider averaged 21 points per game for the sectional-winning 1963 Hatchets, then followed it with a standout college career with the elite Houston teams of the mid ‘60s which included future NBA stars Don Chaney and Elvin Hayes.

John Helm (Washington 1962-65) An all-conference performer in two sports, Helm started for two Hatchet sectional-winning teams in 1963 and ’65, graduating as the school’s all-time scoring leader.

“Of the eight living members of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame with Daviess County connections, we are pleased to have three of them—Sam Alford, Buddy Graham, and Steve Fisher—on our panel this year,” Dougherty noted.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact the Daviess County Museum at (812) 257-0301 or email dchistory@sbcglobal.net. Visit the museum on the web at www.daviesscountyhistory.com