Crawfordsville is the home of basketball in the State of Indiana, having been imported here from Springfield, MA, shortly after the game’s invention. Such a lineage made the game a worthy topic of discussion at “Wally Hoops: A Slam Dunk Symposium on Basketball and the Liberal Arts,” on Feb. 19.
What follows below are some the most memorable quotes from our collection of speakers. Click here for an event photo gallery.
Mac Petty, Basketball From Beginning to Now
Speaking of Dr. James Naismith: “He went out and got two peach baskets and aren’t we lucky? The goal was to provide an athletic diversion during the harsh New England winter.”
“There were 13 original rules. Now, there are more than a hundred, but the spirit of those original 13 rules is still there. Big men have always made big changes to the game. Think Chamberlain, Kurland, George Mikan, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
“I don’t envy anyone being an official. When I started, basketball was finesse and football was a contact sport. Now, basketball is a contact sport and football is a collision sport. Maybe the Warriors and Spurs are helping to change that.”
Dr. Richard Dallinger, The Hoops Doctor Holds Court
“At the scorer’s table I was an actual game official. I took that very seriously. I had to turn off rooting for Wabash for 28 years. That was the hardest thing.”
Dr. Preston Bost, Outside the Box(score): Building a Better Basketball Team With Modern Analytics
Dr. Preston Bost spoke of basketball analytics and Charles Barkley.
“Analytics help you figure out the story within the game and its predictive value. The heyday of analytics of basketball began about 10 years ago. We’re still trying to figure things out. It’s kind of like watching a litter of puppies…lots of energy, but all over the place. We shouldn’t think of analytics as a magic wand. Analytics operates within certain constraints. Think of it as using technology to maximize your resources.”
“Charles Barkley is probably right to kind of slow play the analytics. It’s still such a young field.”
Mike Ricks ’87, “Hoosiers” and the Cutting Room Floor
“I read the script and I nailed it. I’d never done any acting but I took Dr. O’Rourke’s speech class.” “You never know when you’re on. You never know when you’re being interviewed. You always have to sell yourself.”
“I remember that coach (Mac Petty) was so supportive. He said, ‘You go do this life experience.’ It was one of the most boring days of my life. I would have rather been playing in the red/white scrimmage.”
Matt Tanney ’05, Learning to “Dance”: Building a Championship Culture in a Division I Basketball Program
“Why is it important to qualify for the NCAA Tournament? Not the money or exposure, but for the student-athletes and the quality of their experience.”
“Scheduling is a real challenge for us. You have to be strategic as to where and when you play people.”
“’It’s our job to make sure the student-athletes have the resources in place to be successful after graduation. It’s a process and it takes patience and perseverance.”
Joe Hakin ‘73, Basketball as a Process: The Score Will Take Care of Itself
“I haven’t lost a game in 14 years. It’s different when you are the head coach and the W/L is attached to your name.”
“Playing to your potential is an elusive goal, but a worthy one. Especially at a place like this, a liberal arts college, it is definitely worth pursuing.”
“On a liberal arts campus, it’s important to reorient students from their academic day to their athletic day. It’s tough to go from class to practice and be immediately successful.”
David Phillips H’83 and Brent Harris H’03, Wabash Basket Ball: The First 30 Years
“I consider Homer Stonebraker ’18 to be one of the greatest players at Wabash,” said Phillips. “He could shoot from anywhere.”
Of Pete Vaughan H’54, Phillips said, “He was the real deal.”
Ray Jovanovich ’84, Asia’s NBA Love Affair…From the Late 1980s to 2016 & Beyond
“I got my start at WNDY and little did I know that a few years later I’d be sitting across a dinner table with the Managing Editor at RTHK in Asia. At the time, they were expanding content in sports. I was in a very coveted position. For me, it became a love affair as well. That love affair was spurred on in 1982 with Mac Petty’s national championship team. I was fortunate to fall into this second career and it’s sort of become my no. 1 career now.”
“'(Former NBA Commissioner David) Stern understood the domestic needs for the game and saw the potential for growing the game overseas. He and his team were brilliant marketers. No one has come close to what the NBA has done in China.”
Drs. Annie Strader and Matthew Weedman, Man-Made Hoops: Artistic Responses to a Cultural Phenomenon
“No artist has complete control over the artistic interpretation of their art,” said Strader.
Talking about Higher Goals 1986 by David Hammonds, Strader said, “It’s an anti-basketball sculpture.”
Dr. Chris Carr ’82, Mental Toughness: The Role of Sport Psychology in the NBA
Dr. Chris Carr ’82 delivered the event’s keynote address.
“Sport psychology gives athletes something they can put to good use. The strategies we teach give them the tools to equip them for the rest of their lives…We try to help athletes develop these attributes: determination, confidence, composure, and focus.”
“When I work with an athlete, I have specific strategies to deal with things that are tough or overwhelming. What gets players engaged is using those skills and attributes to their advantage.”
“We have great weight rooms and strength staffs, but how much time do we spend on the mental? It’s easy to start, but it’s hard to commit.”
“Basketball is a fascinating sport. It’s dynamic and fluid. It’s about one shot, one point, and one stop. I try to help make every team member better, including coaches.”
The faculty, staff, and alumni symposium is presented by the National Association of Wabash Men, the Indianapolis Association of Wabash Men, and the faculty and staff of Wabash College.