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

LaPorte County Basketball Tourney – Can It Be Resurrected?

1946 LaPorte County Basketball Tourney.

Hoosiers are a little happier these days. Varsity girls and boys basketball are now in full swing. Decades ago, the happy feelings peaked with excitement during the LaPorte County Sectional. Every community wanted to see its team win, or to see David topple Goliath, but it was about communities meeting in one place and watching basketball together as much as anything. As the winner advanced to the Regional, everyone hoped they’d represent LaPorte County well. Read More