Christie was unable to come to the tournament due to health issues, but our state has never had a classier college coach than the beloved Christie.
Earlier this week, the former Kanawha Valley Conference lost one of its most underrated basketball players with the death of former Sissonville High center, Clinton Painter.
The 6-7 Painter was nicknamed "Tallboy" and, he was a man-mountain, rebounding presence for coach Jerry Moore. Painter set a KVC record of 30 rebounds in one game and led the Indians to their most successful seasons as a AAA school. In 1970, Painter and his Sissonville teammates lost to a talented George Washington team in the regionals. That GW team would win a state title the following season.
Among Painter's teammates were Bill Day, Steve Utt, John Hall, Doug Atkinson and Bill Walker. There was also a trio of talented sophomores in the program in Bobby Dawson, Raymond Jordan and Jerry Vorholt. Painter went on to play at Fairmont State for Joe Retton. Painter took basketball and impacted the lives of many in Sissonville. The community will remember "Tallboy" and celebrate his life today.
This year is the 100th boys state high school basketball tournament in our state. In what will be a basketball lover's dream, our high school history will be celebrated at a dinner in the Civic Center on the eve of this year's tournament - Tuesday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m.
State legends Jerry West and Mike D'Antoni will be featured on videotape and names such as Warren Baker, Jeff Schneider, Dave Barksdale and Ergie Smith will be among the speakers. Tickets are $35 and are available at the Civic Center ticket office. You can also buy online at www.charlestonciviccenter.com.
Reach Frank Giardina at fl...@hotmail.com.