Monday, September 2, 2013

Wayne Estes Center at USU and Childhood Memories

I have written before about Wayne Estes, and included links to his story.  This story is coming back to me at this time, because of an article in the Utah State magazine.  On the campus of Utah State, they are building a new practice gym for basketball, and volleyball arena.  It has been announced that the facility will be called the Wayne Estes Center.  The article relates:
Wayne Estes was an All-American basketball player for Utah State University from 1963-1965 and still ranks as the third-leading scorer in Utah State history with 2001 points and the fourth-leading rebounder (893).  He holds school records for career points per game (26.7), free throw made in a career (469), consecutive 10-point games (64), points in a season (821), points per game in a season (33.7), points in a game (52) and rebounds in a game (28).
On the night of Feb 8, 1965, Estes played the last game of his college career against the University of Denver in the Nelson Fieldhouse on the USU campus.
Estes, who scored the second-most point in a single game in school history that night with 48 (trailing his school-record 52 points set a year earlier) eclipsed the 2,000 point mark with his final basket to give him 2,001 for his career.
After the game, Estes and some friends stopped at the scene of a car accident near campus.  While crossing the street, Estes brushed against a downed high power line and was fatally electrocuted.
The article had this tribute to Estes, by Jim Laub, the individual who donated money to build the new center.  “I had two idols as a young boy in the 1960s—Mickey Mantle and Wayne Estes, Laub said.  “Like most young boys, I was impressionable and tried to emulate Wayne.  I will always remember how hard he worked to be the best he could and also how humble he was with his success.  Estes had a huge impact on me during these years, and it is an honor to his legacy that this new facility will bear his name.”
I remember getting the news of his death as a boy.  I would have been seven and in second grade.  My dad had taken me to the Fieldhouse to see him play.  It was really crowded.  I think hearing the news of his death compared to the day President Kennedy was killed.  It had an impact on all the boys in Cache County who followed his basketball exploits.  He was a hero to many, and he was taken away too soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment