CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- BASKETBALL THOUGHTS before heading to Arizona and baseball spring training:
This week's final WVIAC basketball tournament brought back memories of many outstanding players from the Morris Harvey glory days of the tournament. Former Golden Eagles coach Rick Meckfessel, one of the best men to ever coach in our city, had this to say about several of his former players:
HENRY DICKERSON: "Henry is the only player to be named All-WVIAC and all-tournament in each of his four seasons. He came to us from Beckley and had incredibly soft hands. He was effective with tip-ins around the basket. He was an inside 6-4 player for us, but he worked on his outside game and played in the NBA with the Hawks and the Pistons.''
JOHN JIVIDEN: "John was overlooked as a great player because our teams weren't very good until his senior season. He was an incredible left-handed shooter and he made the basket at the buzzer to beat Glenville in the semifinals. He was a great athlete and also played four years of baseball.''
JOE LUCAS: "Joe played during the time of the name change from Morris Harvey to UC. He was a coaching dream for me, and then Glen Korobov. He may be the most underrated player in school history as he was so versatile. If you need a big stop, he got it. If you needed a big basket, he made it.''
BOBBY WESLEY: "Bobby was as good an all round player as there was in the conference from 1969-72. He was only 6-0, but he could play inside with his great quickness and jumping ability. He could get his shot off at any time as he could stop on a dime. As a mid-range shooter, he was deadly. As good a player as he was, he was even a better person. Everybody on campus loved Bobby.''
For many, the WVIAC tournament was not quite the same without seeing former Salem and Concord coaching legend Don Christie.
Christie coached in the conference from the early 1960s until 1989. During that time, he coached two of the league's biggest stars: Archie Talley at Salem and Will Johnson at Concord. He also had such names as Norm Dinwiddie and Charlie Delmonico at Salem and Tracy Poindexter and Randy Jennings at Concord.