News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 27, 2013

‘Benefit Night’ helps raise $10,000 toward coach Saylor’s medical costs

David Hughes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The Black squad defeated the White squad 112-106 in overtime.

There were 35 shots made from 3-point range.

Zach Odum kinda, almost dunked one time.

But the most significant number originating from Terre Haute South High School’s gym Friday night was 10,000.

Near the end of the “Mike Saylor Benefit Night” basketball game consisting of former South standouts, South principal Chris Mauk announced to the large crowd of supporters that $10,000 had been raised to help the Saylor family during his ongoing battle with cancer.

Not surprisingly, a standing ovation followed.

Earlier Friday, Saylor — a former South boys basketball assistant and head coach who has been receiving medical treatments in Houston in recent weeks — provided an update on Facebook about his condition and his thoughts on Friday’s benefit, which he was able to attend.

“I am very happy to be finished with my second round of treatments,” he said. “I am also very happy to be home in Terre Haute where I am with family and friends. I feel much better than I did after the first round of treatments.

“I want to thank everyone at South Vigo High School for putting together the chilli supper, silent auction and basketball game that all goes on this evening.

“I have been blessed to know so many wonderful people. I am very humbled and thankful for all of the prayerful support that I have received.”

Among those who came to Saylor’s aid was longtime friend and former South head coach Pat Rady, who now coaches at Cloverdale High School and guided the Black squad Friday.

“Mike has been a very loyal friend,” the 72-year-old Rady told the Tribune-Star at halftime of Friday’s game. “He was probably an assistant coach next to me longer than any other assistant I’ve had. We went through a lot of strategies of trying to win ballgames. … So many great memories.”

South’s all-time leading scorer Maynard Lewis, a 1998 graduate, also did his part by tying Steve Hart for high-point honors on Rady’s Black squad with 22 Friday.

“Coach Saylor was very instrumental in my basketball career, teaching me the fundamentals,” Lewis said. “I hate that we have to get together for this reason, but it’s certainly nice to see everyone.”

Before the game, the 39-year-old Hart promised no dunks like the kind he routinely produced in the early 1990s, even though he still plays basketball about once a week in St. Michael, Minn.

“I’m old,” he said with a chuckle. “I don’t want to break anything … and I don’t mean rims.”

Former Indiana University standout and NBA player Brian Evans, a 1991 South grad and also 39 now, said he was unable to play Friday but still attended the pregame festivities.

“We love coach Saylor,” said Evans, who currently resides in Indianapolis. “He’s such a gracious guy. He’s thanking us for being here. … He’s had such a huge impact on so many people from this community.”

Leading the White squad in scoring were Anthony McNeal (2005 grad) with 27 points, Ian McIntyre (2009) with 21 and John Michael Jarvis (2010) with 19.

Other double-figure scorers for the triumphant Black squad were Lucas Steward (2012) with 15 points and Christian Barnett (2008) with 14.

Early in the five-minute OT, the White squad actually led 101-94 after Jarvis’ sixth 3-pointer of the night. But the Black squad used an 18-5 run in the final minutes to pull out the victory.

“It’s been a lot of fun seeing the players and reminiscing about times here at South,” Rady mentioned. “It brings back fond memories.”

But Rady also knew what really mattered Friday.

“As I told the players, whoever wins this ballgame tonight, that’s not important,” he said. “What’s important is we want to win for coach Saylor and his battle against cancer. He looks good. I’m very pleased. … If anybody can beat it, I know Mike will because he’s a fighter. He’s a competitor and he always has been.”

Besides the former South athletes who played in the contest and Evans, several others showed up to be part of the festivities. Among them were current Indiana State guard Jake Odum, Jim Bogle (a longtime friend of Saylor’s who also has cancer), Jeff Hutz, Steve Richardson (who coached the White squad Friday) and Mike Stoffers (who volunteered to be one of the three game officials Friday).

South assistant athletic director Shane Abrell organized Friday’s benefit.

BLACK (112) — Chris Cassell 5, Seth Dunlap 7, Steve Hart 22, Anthony McGill 6, Lucas Steward 15, Christian Barnett 14, Maynard Lewis 22, Greg Luken 5, Toby Stephens 8, Cole Vicars 8. Total 112.

WHITE (106) — John Michael Jarvis 19, Anthony McNeal 27, Spencer Harlan 3, Chuckie Hawkins 0, Zach Odum 6, Jon Bradbury 7, Brian Cottee 7, Ian McIntyre 21, Barry Minnett 10, Kyle Toney 2, Robert Davis 4. Total 106.

Black    21    17    26    28    20    —    112

White    16    30    28    18    14    —    106

3-point goals — Black: Lewis 4, Steward 4, Barnett 3, Stephens 2, Cassell, Dunlap, Luken. White: Jarvis 6, McIntyre 5, McNeal 4, Minnett 2, Bradbury, Cottee.