As I browse through my Grandma’s scrapbooks I am always intrigued by the different types of articles she would save.
Often she would save articles about sports. I don’t think she was particularly interested in the results of the games or even how they were played. I think she looked more at the human aspect of the game. Who the players were.
Here is an interesting one that I came across this evening.
On the scrapbook page there were two items. First this great cartoon showing Gary Thompson playing basketball.
Who was Gary Thompson? If you are from Iowa and followed sports in the late 50’s you will definitely know who he was. However, for those of you who are younger like me, you may know his name from following Big 8 and Big Twelve basketball on TV as he was a color commentator for the networks for 34 years and would often cover the conference games.
Gary Thompson played for Iowa State back when it was part of the Big 7 conference. He played for Iowa State at the same time as Wilt Chamberlain played for the University of Kansas. In his senior year at Iowa State he was the Big Seven Conference player of the year. The same year Chamberlain led KU to the NCAA Final and was the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.
In the article above we find that “Go With Gary” was a slogan that the Iowa State Cyclones used. Gary helped turn a team around that had been struggling and helped them to winning seasons. This article was written at the start of his senior year and mentioned that he would likely be the first Iowa State Cyclone to score 1,000 career points. He did reach the mark.
I also found out that he was not just a one sport player. He was also a shortstop on the baseball team and helped lead the Cyclones to the College World Series in his senior year.
After he graduated he was drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers but instead decided to join the Phillips 66ers, an AAU team. He played and coached for the 66ers and also played on the US National team before starting his broadcast career.
Looking through my Grandma’s scrapbooks can be very educational. She loved to wander from topic to topic just like me.