The Patch Players – Basketball was a respite from life’s daily injustice

Dave Greer releasing a jump shot, 1953.

Dave Greer and I sat in his basement drinking coffee. Behind him was a wall covered with trophies: bowling trophies won by his wife, Vivian, his son and daughter’s awards from Rogers High School, a color silhouette of Greer in a basketball uniform. The largest one recognized Greer as an outstanding scholar-athlete at Elston High School.

Greer remembered the night he became the first area player to shoot a jump shot in a varsity basketball game. It was 1953 and many people considered a one-handed jump shot showboating. It was an away game at an all-white school.

“They called me all kind of negative names,” Greer said. “They called me everything but God. We were the only black thing in there,” referring to himself and teammates Bill Wright and Braelon Donaldson. “The word — never heard it so many times in one day.” Read More

Stillwell’s Mightiest Viking

Look around and you will find amazing stories everywhere, tucked away, hoping to be discovered. Sometimes the stories require searching to flesh them out. Such was the case of a glass photo negative discovered in a box. The player wearing number eleven was Leon Antrim. Leon grew up in Stillwell, Indiana. He and his teammate, Clarence Spier, were photographed in the LaPorte Civic Auditorium on March 5, 1937. But, why? Read More