TERRE HAUTE —
One thing you can say about members of Terre Haute’s Shouse family: They never have had a problem with running and jumping.
At least not until knee problems hit.
An outstanding athlete since the days I played pick-up basketball games with him and his brothers in the Terre Haute Boys Club and Indiana State University Arena gyms in the mid to late 1970s, a young Doug Shouse knew how to turn heads with his dunks and athletic fast-break moves against college guys and mediocre players like me.
Shouse later starred in basketball and competed in the high jump for Terre Haute South High School, graduating in 1981 with the prestigious McMillan Award for being named Vigo County’s outstanding athlete as a senior.
Shouse then took his high-jump talents to Arkansas State University, where he was named the Southland Conference’s Outstanding Outdoor Field Performer in 1982. He won the Southland Conference’s outdoor championships in 1982 and 1983 with leaps of 7 feet, 4 1/2 inches and he earned NCAA All-American status for his outdoor performance in 1983.
Now 51 and living in Phoenix several years after playing pro basketball in South Africa and Europe, Shouse admits that it’s nice to be remembered for his athletic accomplishments.
The ASU Lettermen’s Club will do exactly that in two weeks when it inducts Shouse and two other former standout athletes into its Hall of Honor (similar to a Hall of Fame) on Aug. 30.
The next day, Aug. 31, the trio will be introduced at the Red Wolves’ home football game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff in Liberty Bank Stadium at Jonesboro, Ark.
Shouse, who said he’s working as a counselor at a hospital and as an agent for International Basketball Federation (aka FIBA) athletes, acknowledged that he was thrilled to receive the call about his possible induction in the spring.
His induction was confirmed in July.
“They said they’ve wanted to do it for the last three years, but they couldn’t get a hold of me,” he said over the phone Thursday. “Better late than never. I’m excited.”
Reflecting back to the prime of his high-jump career, Shouse believes he could have cleared 7-9 or 7-10 — his indoor best was 7-5 — if tendinitis had not affected his left knee.
“I had to jump with pain a lot,” he mentioned.
Still, Shouse enjoyed his time at Arkansas State.
“It was a very good experience — good campus, good people,” he recalled. “The Southern people showed me a lot of hospitality.”
Incidentally, knee problems continued to follow Shouse after he left Arkansas State. He said he tore his patellar tendon in half while trying to dunk a basketball in the country of Chile in 1997.
“If I had never had these injuries,” he insisted, “I could still dunk now. … I can still walk and maybe even jog once in a while, but I hurt the next day.”
• Unwanted predictions — Not that you asked for them, but here are my predictions for order of finish in each of the NFL divisions for the 2013 season (wild cards in parentheses):
AFC West — Denver (probable Super Bowl champion), Kansas City (wild card), San Diego, Oakland.
AFC North — Cincinnati, Baltimore (no playoffs for defending Super Bowl champion), Pittsburgh, Cleveland.
AFC South — Indianapolis (yeah, I’m a homer, but I believe in Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne), Houston (wild card), Tennessee, Jacksonville.
AFC East — New England, Miami, Buffalo, N.Y. Jets.
NFC West — Seattle, St. Louis, San Francisco, Arizona (still a competitive team in a tough division).
NFC North — Chicago, Green Bay (wild card), Detroit, Minnesota.
NFC South — Atlanta, New Orleans, Carolina, Tampa Bay.
NFC East — N.Y. Giants, Dallas (wild card), Washington, Philadelphia.
David Hughes can be reached after 4 p.m. by phone at 812-231-4224; or at 1-800-783-8742, Option 4; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by fax at 812-231-4321.