John Havlicek, who was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday, said his family finances were such that he would not have been able to attend college without an athletic scholarship.
He remembered the question his father, a Czech immigrant butcher, asked in a thick accent as Havlicek was being recruited to play basketball and football.
“‘Because you play good ball, you go to school and I no pay?’ ” Havlicek recalled. “I told him, that’s a pretty good deal.”
Havlicek played for Ohio State’s 1960 NCAA championship team.
Here are some other notes from Friday’s induction ceremony at the College Basketball Hall of Fame:
Perfection does not change
Quinn Buckner, a standout on Indiana’s undefeated 1976 NCAA championship — the last perfect record title team in college basketball — said he didn’t pop champagne when the Kentucky Wildcats lost perfection in the Final Four last season with the semifinal loss to Wisconsin.
Just the opposite.
“I had no reason not to root for them, I really didn’t,” Buckner said on Friday. “If you’re a team trying to achieve a goal, who am I to root against it?
“Indiana went undefeated. That doesn’t ever change.”
Ratleff wanted to run
Long Beach State standout Ed Ratleff didn’t recognize the coach who won a national championship at Nevada-Las Vegas in 1990, Jerry Tarkanian. Tarkanian was also Ratleff’s coach for the 49ers.
“We watch the Runnin’ Rebels play,” said Ratleff, a two-time All-America in the early 1970s. “We thought, ‘Why didn’t we do that here?’ We wanted to run too.
“But he was a special coach, one of the best around.”
Donoher had good start
Don Donoher benefitted from Hank Finkel’s delayed entry into the NBA Draft. Finkel, a 7-footer at Dayton, was eligible for the draft after his sophomore year because of his age. Finkel stuck around at Dayton, even though he was drafted in consecutive years by the Lakers and the Sixers.
“Today it’s one and done,” Donoher said Friday. “But with Hank Finkel it was four and more.”