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Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame Announces 2017 Class

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12th Annual Ceremony to be held May 20 in Columbus

COLUMBUS – The Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame's 2017 class will include several former college players whose careers ended before 1980, in an ongoing effort to honor and remember the pioneers of the game.

“We strive to have a great representation of Ohio basketball, including high school, all divisions of college basketball, and the professional level. We celebrate those that were either born in Ohio or contributed to the game here. We're working with universities, individuals, and historians to capture and preserve the legacies of Ohio's greatest players, coaches and contributors,” said Executive Director Sheila Fox.

Mel Riebe of Cleveland, who would have been 100 years old this year, heads a group that includes well-known former college stars Charlie Share (Bowling Green), Eugene “Middie” Smith (Xavier), Hank Stein (Xavier), Fred Foster (Miami), Ron Bonham (Cincinnati) and Johnny Davis (Dayton). Riebe, Bonham, Foster and Share are deceased.

Riebe played at Euclid Shore High School before turning pro and playing for a handful of teams, including the Boston Celtics. He led the National Basketball League in scoring for two years. At the age of 27 he enrolled at the College of Wooster and played football and golf because he was, as an ex-pro, ineligible for baseball and basketball.

The 6-foot-11 Share was among the first big men in college basketball. After getting All-America mention at Bowling Green, he spent nine years in the NBA and was captain of the 1958 champion St. Louis Hawks.

Smith, a 6-5 center, was from Middletown, but he played at Hamilton Catholic High School. He was Xavier's leading scorer for three straight years from 1949-52 and graduated as the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,109 points.

Stein, a guard at Xavier, is most remembered for his MVP performance in the 1958 National Invitation Tournament when he scored 90 points in four games and led the Musketeers to a 78-74 overtime upset of Dayton in the championship game.

Foster, a 6-5 forward from Springfield South High School, blossomed in his senior year (1967-68) at Miami, averaging a school-record 26.9 points. Then he played 10 years in the NBA.

Bonham was Indiana's Mr. Basketball in 1960 after a splendid career at Muncie Central High School. A three-year starter at the University of Cincinnati, he played on the Bearcats' 1962 national championship team. He led the team in scoring the last two years. His career total of 1,666 points was the third all-time at UC.

Johnny Davis had a greater impact at the University of Dayton than any other freshman. The Flyers had 13-13 records in the two years prior to his arrival, but they surged to 20-9 with Davis in the lineup in 1973-74 and played in the NCAA Tournament. Davis entered the NBA after his junior year and immediately played on a championship team at Portland. He had a 10-year NBA career.

All told, 14 former basketball players, four coaches, two teams, two officials and one contributor make up the class that will be honored in Columbus on May 20, 2017, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

The coaches in the class are Bob Hamilton (Wittenberg College men), Norm Persin (Oak Hill and Chesapeake High School boys), Richard Kiser (Eastern Brown High School girls) and Cheri Harrer (Baldwin-Wallace College girls).

Jim Chones represents the Cleveland Cavaliers in the class. The 6-foot-11  former Marquette University star played for the Cavs in five of his 10 NBA seasons (1974-75 through 1978-79) and has worked on the Cavs' TV and radio broadcasts since his retirement.

The Carder twins, Jim and Jerry, of Delphos and the University of Findlay are the Division II men's basketball honorees and Mark Wayne “Buzzy” Davis of Marietta College represents Division III.

Jantel Lavender, the 6-foot-4 former Ohio State star from Cleveland, was selected as the outstanding women's college player and Carol Madsen is being saluted for her performances at Reading High School where she was a three-time all-state selection and made many All-American squads.

Ann Meyers, a three-time All-American from 1977-80, averaged 21.2 points per game and is still the all-time leading scorer at the University of Dayton. 

The teams selected this year are the Indian Valley South High School boys teams of 1972 and 1973 coached by Charlie Huggins and Coach Jim Snyder's Ohio University men's teams of  1963-64 and '64-65.

The officials to be inducted are Glenn “Buddy” Mayborg of Cincinnati and the late David Nash of Urbana.

Craig Taylor, the MVP on Ohio State's 1975-76 men's team, is being honored not for his collegiate career but his contributions to the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame. He was one of the founders in 2006 and has served on the executive board ever since. He also made significant contributions of business materials.

Bob Hamilton had a successful 10-year run as a coach at Wittenberg and at the U.S. Naval Academy. His six Wittenberg teams had a combined 119-38 record, winning or sharing four Ohio Athletic Conference regular season championships and winning three tournament titles. At Navy, which had only one winning season in the 14 years before he was hired, Hamilton had four straight before leaving the coaching profession.

Norm Persin, a graduate of the University of Rio Grande, has had a lengthy high school coaching career during which his teams won 400 games in 21 years at Chesapeake High School in Lawrence County between two stints at Oak Hill of Jackson County totaling 15 years. His 2009 Oak Hill team won the state Division IV championship.

Richard Kiser graduated from Eastern Brown High School and then returned to the school in Sardinia, Ohio, to teach and coach after graduating from Wilmington College in 1974. His girls basketball teams won 604 games and lost 167 over 34 years. They won 20 Southern Hills Athletic League titles plus 19 sectionals, 10 districts and three regionals. They were regional runners-up in 2000.  

Cheri Harrer of Baldwin-Wallace is the second winningest women's basketball coach in the history of the Ohio Athletic Conference. Through 2015-16, she has had 24 consecutive winning seasons. The Yellow Jackets have won eight OAC regular season championships and six tournament titles while appearing in the NCAA Division III tournament 13 times.  

Jim Chones is the 6-foot-11 former Marquette University star who played for the Cavs in five of his 10 NBA seasons (1974-75 through 1978-79) and has worked on the Cavs' TV and radio broadcasts since his retirement.
Twins Jim and Jerry Carder played on outstanding teams at Delphos St. Johns High School and Findlay College. Their DSJ Bluejays won back-to-back district championships in 1963 and 1964. Jim Carder scored 34 points in the 1964 North-South All-Star game. At Findlay, Jim scored 2,079 points and Jerry scored 1,953 as both exceeded the previous school career record of 1,707 set by Harold “Herk” Wolfe in 1953. 

“Buzzy” Davis averaged 20.3 points per game at Marietta College where he held the career scoring record for 42 years. He played on Marietta's Ohio Athletic Conference championship teams in 1953-54 and 1954-55. He was named All-Ohio twice and was selected to the Little All-America team. He is the first player from Marietta to be inducted into the OBHOF.

Jantel Lavender led her Cleveland Catholic Central High School team to the state Division III championship in 2007 when she was named Ohio's Ms. Basketball by the Associated Press. She was a four-time Big Ten Conference player of the year at Ohio State where she became the school's all-time scoring leader. A two-time All-American, she was selected fifth overall by the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA in 2011.

Carol Madsen was an outstanding player at Reading High School where she was a three-time all-state selection and made many All-American squads. After a year at Purdue University, she transferred to Xavier University and became the cornerstone of Xavier's blossoming women's program.

Ann Meyers was a three-time All-American at the University of Dayton where she is the all-time leading scorer. The Chaminade-Julienne High School graduate scored 2,672 points for the UD women and led them to the 1980 AIAW small college national championship.

Indian Valley South High School is being recognized for nearly having put together two perfect seasons back-to-back under the guidance of Coach Charlie Huggins in the early 1970s.

Led by Huggins' son, Bob, the AP Class A player of the year, IVS finished the 1971-72 season with a 26-0 record and the state championship after defeating Morral Ridgedale, 59-41, in the title game. A year later the Rebels took a 25-0 record into the championship game but lost, 42-37, to Marion Pleasant.

Nine years earlier Ohio University had a pair of teams that brought similar fame to the school. The Bobcats made the NCAA Tournament field two years in succession. Led by Jerry Jackson and Don Hilt, OU won the Mid-American Conference Championship in 1964 and became the first MAC team to reach the Elite Eight by upsetting Louisville and fourth-ranked Kentucky before losing to No. 2-ranked Michigan.

The Bobcats won the MAC title again in 1965 but suffered a heartbreaking 66-65 first-round loss to Dayton in the NCAA Tournament.

About the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame

Founded in 2006, the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame recognizes the achievements of both male and female basketball players in high school, college and professional basketball; successful coaches on all levels; and those who have impacted the game along the way. The induction ceremony is a celebration of basketball, its rich history, and those who have contributed to the game in Ohio.


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