Headed to Hot Springs

Going to Hot Springs for 50-year reunion of my high school basketball team at LR Central High. 1970 team won state title. Beat Northside for the title. Had lost at Northside in regular season. This will be at Bruce Mitchell’s house on lake Hamilton. Teammates Fred Allen, Harry Couch and Danny McDaniel (and me) part of a great sophomore class on that team. I was a JV player on that team and wore out at practice each day.


Reunions are always fun Clay. Good memories. Hope it’s a blast for ya.

Just don’t try to play full court, you won’t make it two trips up and down the court, lol.

Speaking of Hot Springs, and Central vs Northside… I watched Central upset Northside in the 6A semifinals today. That puts Central in next week’s final.

Central took advantage of no shot clock, and played keep away most of the game. The score was 4-4 after 1st quarter. They frustrated Northside all game. I sat with the LR school district AD, and we both marveled at the coaching job Brian Ross did. When Central gets the talent of some of the other programs, look out! That guy can coach.

It was interesting to hear some of my teammates talk of the Central coach. They see his ability, too.

Got to visit at length last night with Fred Allen and Danny McDaniel at our reunion. Both were terrific players and the reason we won state in 1970. There was a good senior class, but those two stepped into starting as sophomores and that team became good.

Fred, now a five term state rep, detailed how he ended up at Central. He grew up believing he would be at Horace Mann. The districts were re-drawn the summer before his sophomore year. It surprised everyone and landed him at Central. We were in same class.

Some were upset In the black community. They thought he would lead Mann to great things. John Walker came to his house with a plan for Fred to move in with a family in the Mann district who would adopt him. Fred’s mother would have nothing to do with it.

With Fred and Danny (then Harry Couch and Lanky Wells), Central remained the basketball power in the city.

I got to hang with Paul Burton last night. Paul and I grew up together at same elementary school. We moved to Fair Park Boulevard when I was a third grader. We were running buddies. Played golf on high school team. He tried hoops briefly like me. And Paul was a good tight end.

I prob was a better golfer than him then, but he has played more as he’s found time away from his dental practice and is really good now. I’ve gravitated to fishing in last 20 years and my game has suffered. When I was 35 my handicap was a tournament 2. I played too well in 4-5 member guests and USGA froze it. That’s what happens when you prepare for tournaments the right way. I was actually relieved when that happened because I did not want to be called a sand bagger.

I took that T-2 handicap to Aiken, SC for a member guest with my brother. Told the pro that I was prob a 10. He looked me up and it said T-2. Butch protested then I aced my third hole and made two more birdies on front and the pro found us at the turn and threatened to change my handicap lower. Kinda funny.

I made my points the first day in the stableford system. And we won day money. But they made it a lot tougher on points I had to get the next day and we flopped.

No basketballs at the reunion and no running, either. Just lots of fried catfish and good stories.

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