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CHS grad Russell to be inducted into Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame
March 25, 2014Columbus North High School
Columbus High School graduate Bill Russell will be among 14 inductees at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame's men's induction banquet on Wednesday (March 26) at Primo's Banquet Hall in Indianapolis.
Russell, class of CHS 1963, starred under coach Bill Stearman and was the only freshman to start in the Hall of Fame mentor's long tenure with the Bull Dogs.
Russell set the school record of 1,272 career points and led Columbus to an undefeated regular season and lengthy stint ranked as the No. 1 team in the state as a high school senior. The team finished 25-1, its lone loss in the semistate to eventual state champion Muncie Central.
He went on to earn three letters at Indiana University, where he was regarded as one of the best defenisve players in the Big Ten and was a member of a Big Ten championship squad in 1967.
Later in 1967, he was drafted by the Indiana Pacers.
Russell previously was honored by the Hall of Fame as a member of the Silver Anniversary Team in 1987.
Russell becomes the 15th person with ties to Columbus High or Columbus North to be inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.
Others include Stearman (1943), a player and coach in Columbus, former Columbus High boys' coaches Everett Case and Cliff Wells, former Columbus North player and girls' coach Debbie Law Marr (1981) and current CN girls' coach Pat McKee.
In addition, nine other players with Columbus ties have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. They include Tom Arnholt (1968), Ray Eddy (1929), W.P. "Dutch" Fehring (1930), Steve Hollenbeck (1964), Tom McKinney (1966), Jerry Newsom (1964), Chuck Taylor (1918), Bob Welmer (1947) and Steve Welmer (1968).
Joining Russell in the 2014 men's induction class are Orsten Artis of Gary Froebel (1962), Tom Chilton of Austin (1956), Jack Cross of Rushville (1951), Tom DeBaets of South Bend LaSalle (1968), David Gadis of Pike (1980), Les Habegger of Berne (1943), Bill Harmon of Jennings County (1973), Art Musselman of Huntington (1956), Paul Patterson of Hammond Morton (1960), Ron Smith of Elkhart Memorial (1974), Jack Waters of Madison (1957), the late Lowell "Pug" Dale of Lebanon (1913) and the late Paul Weekley (a long-time successful coach at Shelburn and North Central-Sullivan).
The men's Silver Anniversary Team being honored this year, all 1989 high school graduates, includes David Anderson of Marion, Tony Barbee of North Central, Calbert Cheaney of Evansville Harrison, Greg Graham of Warren Central, Pat Graham of Floyd Central, David Hinton of Castle, Rodney Holmes of South Bend St. Joseph, Chris Lawson of Bloomington South, Jamie Matthews of New Washington, Scott Matthews of New Washington, Tony McGee of Terre Haute South, Mickey McPherson of Mississinewa, Rich Mount of Lebanon, Matt Petty of Crawfordsville, Matt Painter of Delta, Kenny Rowan of Northview, Casey Schmidt of Valparaiso and Nate Tubbs of Fort Wayne Wayne.
Next month, on April 26, Columbus North graduate Karen McCaa will be one of the honorees on the Hall of Fame women's Silver Anniversary Team.