Of halls of fame in general and Ohio State’s Joe Roberts in particular


The 1960 Ohio State starting five, left to right: Larry Siegfried, Mel Nowell , Joe Roberts , Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek .

The 1960 Ohio Condition starting off five, still left to correct: Larry Siegfried, Mel Nowell , Joe Roberts , Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek .

This story is something about Joe Roberts, a adorned basketball player who went from East Higher to the NBA via Ohio Condition, and is the only starter from Ohio State’s 1960 NCAA nationwide championship staff not in the school’s athletic hall of fame.

But the tale commences with Tom Beck, who died May 8 at age 89, and who received tribute in this place. Beck was a instructor and coach in the Columbus City Educational institutions technique. He got the Whetstone High football software up and jogging after the school opened in 1961 and, as we mentioned, he could start out a observe system anywhere.

On Veteran’s Day, my feelings were with Beck – who was born the very same yr as my late father, a fellow Korean War veteran. You know the kind: assistance to one’s nation is a responsibility and there is no want to communicate about it.

Beck’s athletes knew him as an often-beneficial mentor and motivator. Beck’s colleagues have been knowledgeable that the person set up figures. And he did it the “correct way.”

Beck gained much more than 200 twin- and tri-satisfies at Whetstone and Briggs. He had a point out runner-up crew at Briggs. He coached various person condition champions and was tapped for a variety of regional and countrywide invitationals.

California forward Bill McClintock tips the ball in for two points against Ohio State forward Joe Roberts in the 1960 national championship game.

California ahead Bill McClintock suggestions the ball in for two factors versus Ohio State forward Joe Roberts in the 1960 countrywide championship activity.

Upon Beck’s passing, previous New Albany coach Roy Alt was prompted to create a letter to The Dispatch sports editor. Alt is continue to hoping the Ohio Affiliation of Observe and Cross Nation Coaches Corridor of Fame will however enshrine Beck, who has twice been nominated.

“In Korea on a night time mine-sweeping soirée, Tom’s squad was lit up by mortars,” Alt wrote. “Two Marines have been killed, various poorly hurt, and Tom wore a band of shrapnel around his neck for a life span. That alone was more than enough to punch his ticket.”

In 1998,  John Havlicek, Dick Furry, Jerry Lucas and Joe Roberts at the a reunion for Ohio State's 1960 national champs.

In 1998, John Havlicek, Dick Furry, Jerry Lucas and Joe Roberts at the a reunion for Ohio State’s 1960 nationwide champs.

Just lately, there was in this house a piece about Chuck Ealey – who in the 1960s and ‘70s by no means dropped a sport in higher faculty (Portsmouth Notre Dame) or college or university (Toledo). I wrote about about Ealey’s too-prolonged-delayed enshrinement in the Higher education Football Corridor of Fame, and best justice.

A single of Ealey’s schoolboy coaches was Dr. Chet Corbitt – who, not incidentally, was a modern of Joe Roberts at Ohio Point out. Corbitt has his missions. Just one of them was recognition for Ealey. Another is recognition for Roberts.

Joe Roberts in 2010.

Joe Roberts in 2010.

Roberts turned 86 on May possibly 18, the day right before Tom Beck’s wake.

Roberts was, with perpetually underrated Dick Furry, the co-captain of the 1960 Buckeyes, who went 25-3 and beat Cal by 20 details in the NCAA remaining. Roberts was a cerebral, flexible, athletic and physical energy ahead. He had 19 details and 9 rebounds in the regional closing and 10 points and five boards in the championship match.

Roberts averaged 8.6 points and 8.6 rebounds over 3 years. Though he, like the relaxation of coach Fred Taylor’s prices, wore a tie to course and graduated with honors, you did not want to carry that weak stuff within. Roberts, 6 ft 6 and 235 lbs, would not have it.

The Super Sophs of 1959-60 – Jerry Lucas, John Havlicek (RIP), Mel Nowell, Bobby Knight and Gary Gearhart – made it to three consecutive NCAA championship games. They received the title as sophomores, the initial calendar year they ended up suitable. They lost to Cincinnati (with no Oscar!) in the 1961 and ‘62 finals.

It’s normally speculated why Lucas, who dominated his era, didn’t add a different 1 or two titles to his good faculty job. Injuries have been a variable. Yet a bigger variable may perhaps be this: As authors Lee Caryer and Bob Hunter have pointed out, graduations in 1960 and ’61 sapped significant talent from those people teams.

After the championship calendar year of 1960, the Buckeyes were without having their captains – Furry, a ferocious rebounder who subjugated himself to a sixth-guy job, and Roberts, whose brains and sinew sure together the setting up lineup. (And after 1961, they had been without having Larry Siegfried, RIP, an ice-cold scorer who went on to win 5 NBA titles with the Celtics.) Irreplaceable.

Like the four other starters in the championship 12 months of 1960, Roberts was drafted into the professional ranks. He played 4 years in NBA, a calendar year in the ABA and was a player-coach in the semi-experienced leagues (which include for the Columbus Comets of the old Japanese League).

And this is cool:

The 1975 NBA Finals was the initial to attribute two Black coaches, Al Attles of the Golden Condition Warriors and K.C. Jones of the Washington Bullets, the prohibitive preferred. Attles bought ejected early in Recreation 4 for charging the court to defend his star (Rick Barry) – and Attles’ leading assistant, a Black child from the East Side by the identify of Joe Roberts, was abruptly tasked with completing what is stays as the largest upset sweep in NBA record. Which Roberts did.

The Warriors overcame an eight-level deficit in the fourth quarter and received the 1st important trophy for the Bay Region. It was 40 yrs before the Warriors won a further ring.

Ohio Condition has however to acquire yet another basketball title.

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This report originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio Point out basketball: Roberts crucial to staff with Lucas, Havlicek


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