On Saturday night, Jack Theeler and a few other South Dakota greats were inducted into the SD Sports HOF. It was a great evening and fitting recognition for Jack and his exemplary career at USD. I was privileged to sit at one of Jack’s tables and visited with his friends and family. His former team mate at Sisseton High School, Bob Hull, regaled us with some funny stories – out of earshot of Jack I might add! Bob played for dad one year at USD before transferring to Northern State in Aberdeen.
Jack’s wife, Nancy, provided me with copies of letters dad sent to Jack back in the 60’s. Dad always seemed to insert some humor in his communications. Jack and Nancy held a pheasant hunt on their farm for five years to raise funds for the Dwane Clodfelter Scholarship which Jack spear headed.
I remember watching Jack play at the New Armory. He had a nose for the ball and the basket and provided a lot of people with some entertaining basketball. He and Phil Jackson were in a battle for the NCC scoring crown going down to the last game. If the 3 point shot was around back then, Phil would have ended up far back in second place!
While at the banquet, I was able to visit with several other people I knew or just met. It was a delightful evening.
I was also able to take advantage of some other opportunites while in Sioux Falls for the weekend. A radio interview on KSOO’s Viewpoint University with Rick Knobe and Dan Peters, an Argus Leader podcast with Terry Vandrovec which will be online Wednesday, and an interview with Albert Schmidt who was sixth man on Alpena High School’s basketball team in 1942-43. Al Neuharth, an Alpena high school student at the time, cheerleaded for (literally!) and wrote sports stories covering the team that made it to the State “B” tourney in March of 1943 – a great thrill for the small town of Alpena.
I’ll blog about these stories soon.
Do you have a memory of Jack and his playing days at USD that you’d like to share?