News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 4, 2013

Former North Central inducted into Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame

Tom Reck
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Thirteen men will become official members of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame when they are inducted into the Hoops Hall at the annual dinner in March.

One of those inductees will be the late Paul Weekley, who coached Shelburn and North Central high school boys basketball teams for 31 years from 1938 to 1973. His teams won 431 games and lost 231, claimed seven sectional titles, one regional championship, eight Wabash Valley prelims and finished second in the Valley twice.

In a four-year period from 1946 to 1949, Shelburn had a 92-13 record, won four sectionals, a regional in 1947 and a spot in the Sweet Sixteen. The Panthers  also won three Wabash Valley prelims and was runnerup in the 1946 Wabash Valley tourney.

Weekley ranked in the top five among coaches in the old Wabash Valley Tourney. He was second in wins with 50, years coached in the tourney (23) and in games coached (73). He was second only to fellow Hall of Famer Babe Wheeler.

He ranks fifth with his marks of 11 victories in the finals and .579 winning percentage.

Weekley graduated from Oblong (Ill.) High School and Eastern Illinois University. He died in 1978.

Al Tucker, the former coach at Cloverdale, recognized Weekley’s honor at the North Central-Cloverdale basketball game.

The annual Indiana  Basketball Hall of Fame awards dinner is scheduled for March 26, 2014, in Indianapolis.

The other inductees:

Orsten “Little O” Artis,  Gary Froebel High School, averaged more than 22 points per game his senior season. . .  started and led 1966 national champion Texas Western in scoring. . . the retired police officer was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Tom Chilton, Austin, averaged 21 points and 19 rebounds as a junior and 23 points and 22 rebounds his senior year for Hall of Famer Ray Green . . . he went on to play at East Tennessee State, setting a program record of 1,801 career points with a 26-point scoring average and isthe only player to have his jersey retired . . . he was a teacher and coach and resides in Madison.

Jack Cross, Rushville, led the South Central Conference in scoring in football and basketball his senior year and was a three-sport athlete at Ball State University . . . he coached at Dunkirk and Bluffton high schools for 15 years, winning six sectionals and one regional . . . he resides in Bluffton.

Tom DeBaets, South Bend LaSalle, played college basketball at Olivet College and coached for 17 seasons with his teams posting a 233-154 record and the 1994 South Bend Clay team winning the state championship . . . he resides in South Bend.

David Gadis, Pike, set five school records and was named to the Indiana All-Star team in1980 . . . he played college basketball at SMU . . . he resides in Indianapolis.

Les Habebegger, Berne, played at Northwestern (Minn.) and Wheaton College and served in World War II . . . he coached at Seattle Pacific University from 1957 to 1974 with his teams winning 267 games and making six appearances in the NCAA Division II tournament . . . he was an assistant coach with the 1979 NBA champ Seattle Supersonics and later was general manager and director of player personnel . . . he also coached in Germany where his teams won three league titles . . . he resides in Arizona.

William “Bill” Harmon, Jennings County, played for Hall of Famer Bill Springer and played four years at the University of Louisville with three of those teams competing in the NCAA -- one reaching the Final Four . . . he resides in North Vernon.

Art Musselman, Huntington, set season and game scoriing records playing under Hall of Famers Lou Watson and Ivan Wilhelm . . . played college basketball at The Citadel where he scored 1,504 points -- a record for 25 years -- and snared 750 rebounds . . . his jersey was the first retired by the school . . . he was the head coach at Presbyterian College and was an assistant at Clemson and North Carolina State including the latter school’s 1974 NCAA championship team . .. he resides in North Carolina.

Bill Russell, Columbus, was the only freshman to start for coach Bill Stearman and set a school record of 1,272 points, leading the team to an undefeated season and a long run as the No. 1 team in the polls . . . he earned three letters at Indiana University, played on the 1967 Big Ten championship team and was drafted by the Indiana Pacers . . . he resides in Columbus.

Ron Smith, Elkhart Memorial, played under Hall of Fame coach Jim Powers and was chosen for the 1974 Indiana All-Star team . . . he played college basketball at Furman, establishing records for career and season steals and assists . . . he played minor league baseball for five seasons, then became head basketball coach at Miami-Middletown and Middletown high schools in Ohio.

Jack Waters, Madison, played for Hall of Famer Bud Ritter and earned all-state honors in the 1950s, averaging 17.9 points and 15 rebounds his senior season . . . played college basketball at the University of Mississippi, graduating as the school’s second leading scorer (1,384 points) while earning All-America and SEC first-team honors . . . he was named to the school’s Team of the Century and an “SEC Legend” and was drafted by the Cincinnati Royals .

Paul Patterson is the recipient of this year’s Silver Medal and is an inductee . . . he coached Taylor University teams for 34 years with  28 winning seasons and 734 victories,  making him the winningest coach at an Indiana four-year college or university . . . his teams made 14 appearances in the NAIA national tournament . . . he coached 48 years in all and was the coach at Spencer High School and Northwest Missouri State . . . he resides in Mooresville.