hThis basketball season was a milestone for me in covering high school sports. From the time I started working for newspapers and writing sports to some degree…… this was the 40th year.
Friday night I was thinking about this as I drove home from Houston after attending the rodeo.
In recent weeks, I have been writing about all district teams and the thought crossed my mind, "Danny, who would you put on your all time career basketball team."
It did not take me long to reach some conclusion for nine of the top 10 spots. The 10th was a little tougher.
The first five are all from Silsbee. They are made of of three guards and two post players.
The co-most valuable players for the squad played on the same team. They were guard Thadeus Holden and forward Lewis Arline.
Both players left Silsbee and went to Lamar. Arline had a great career there and is remembered as one of the all-time Lamar greats. At 6-6, his biggest asset was his quickness. Holden attended Lamar for a year and then transferred to a junior college in Kansas before finishing his career at the University of Tennessee. His efforts at Tennessee were outstanding.
Chris "PeeWee" Martin played on the first Silsbee team after I moved here. He had shooting skills and was an outstanding player.
Coach Joe Sigler once told me that he was the only player who ever came in as a freshman and started for him.
He also played the guard position.
The third guard on the team was Elester Whitmore. I often say he was the last pure shooter that touched the floor for Silsbee.
He had legs that were barely as big around as a broom stick but If he was open, he could score from anywhere.
He hit for over 50 at least once. I believe he played basketball in college at Houston Baptist University.
The fifth player on the team was 6-11 postman Eddie Fobbs. He was an outstanding athlete who did not develop as a basketball player until his senior year. Then he led the Tigers in some great battles against a Livingston squad that had a couple of 6-10 players.
He later attended Sam Houston University where he won a lot of honors and as far as I know, he is still playing professionally in Europe.
The second five was a little tougher for me. I put three post players and two guards on this unit.
Two of these players were from Silsbee and I came up with one each from the other three places I lived and wrote sports.
The two from Silsbee were forwards Donyell Allen and Willie Jones.
Allen went on to play basketball in college at a school in Arkansas. He was an outstanding player in high school.
He was best remembered because he could jump out of the gym.
He was only about 6-4, but could high jump 6-8 and played in the post against great players from Port Arthur Lincoln and the Beaumont area.
Jones went the football route when he attended college. He was one of the most athletic kids at 6-3. In high school, much like Allen, he found himself playing against a lot of bigger guys and he handled himself well.
The point guard for this group, Brad Schwab, was a guy who played at Bayard, Nebraska in 1978.
I've always considered him to be the best all-around athlete that I ever wrote about. In track, he was a 14-0 pole vaulter, a 45-ft. triple jumper, an excellent 800-meter guy and a pretty fine hurdler.
He was also all super state in football at wide receiver in Nebraska. Unfortunately, he suffered a non-paralyzing broken neck injury his senior year that virtually ended his athletic career.
He handled the ball, dished out assists, shot well, played good defense and gave opponents fits.
The big man on this unit, Matt Hoffart, played for Akron, Colorado in 1987-89.
He was probably the worst athlete of all these guys. However he played good defense and could score on the inside.
At 6-9, he changed a lot of people's plan of attack around. He also has the distinction of being the only one of these guys to win a state championship. He went to state twice and won once in 1989. He played college ball at Midland Lutheran College in Nebraska.
The 10th spot was the toughest for me. I considered a number of players and then narrowed the list to two.
D.C. Stallworth graduated from Silsbee a couple of years ago. He played in the post at Silsbee but was too small to play there in college. He also could play guard but did not get a chance to play there much while in high school.
The other player was a guy named Ty Reuter who played in Mitchell, Nebraska when I lived there in 1990.
I worked for a paper in Scottsbluff in their front office but I moonlighted at a weekly paper that was located in Mitchell writing sports.
Ty was just an outstanding shooter. He was a sophomore that year. He went on to have a great high school career during his junior and senior years when I moved to Silsbee. He is now an optometrist.
Ironically, he was at the Optometry School at the University of Houston at the same time that my son Aaron attended. That school allows in 100 students per year. Three of them had been students at the same small school in Nebraska at the same time.
Because of the whole career, I would have to give the 10th spot to Stallworth. there were many other players who have stood out to me. Like I said, the first five were easy to pick. The second five were much harder and I'm afraid I could not do it if I had to pick five more because there were too many good ones.
ALONG OTHER LINES….. I went to the Houston Rodeo on Friday with plans to take a few pictures of Cody Teel as he rode the bulls. When I got there, I realized that he was not on the program and Ricky Sirmons mentioned to me that he had got hurt.
A little later they announced that he was not riding because he had a broken arm.
Well all I can say is get well Cody and we will try again at a later date.