By Terrell Lester, The Daily Times, Pryor, Okla.
April 11–PRYOR — Scouting around … There was a time when Dennis Rodman did not appear on magazine covers wearing wedding dresses.
There was a time when Dennis Rodman was known more for his elegant array of basketball skills.
before he became a walking, talking canvas for tattoo artists, he painted a pretty broad picture of a championship-caliber basketball player.
before flings with Madonna and Carmen Electra, before joining up with Hulk Hogan, Dennis Rodman was taking a star turn with Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas and Phil Jackson.
There was a time when Dennis Rodman was one of the best players in professional basketball.
Now, it can be said that he is a Hall of Famer.
Word came last week that Dennis Keith Rodman, formerly of Southeastern Oklahoma State, formerly of the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons, would soon be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Voters correctly overlooked his off-court eccentricities, weighed only his enormous talents on the floor.
his talent pool was bountiful.
He was a collegiate All-American at Southeastern State. He led the NAIA national tournament in scoring and in rebounding in 1986.
as a pro, he led the NBA in rebounding for a record seven straight years. He earned NBA All-Defensive First Team seven times and was voted Defensive Player of the Year twice.
Five times, he was an integral part of NBA championship teams — two with Detroit, three with Chicago.
when asked who helped him reach the Hall of Fame, Rodman had a simple, direct answer: “Me.” …
Todd Hicks, whose health forced him to resign his three-year post as girls basketball coach at Pryor High last month, spent nine years as boys assistant under Greg Arnold.
“I never really considered myself a boys coach or a girls coach,” he says. “I was just a basketball coach.”
when he took the girls job, it did not take him long to spot a major difference in the two sports.
“Girls are a lot more emotional,” he said. “You have to pay a little more attention to their feelings.”
He said another distinction was familiarity with the game.
“My girls weren’t really basketball fans,” he said. “Until recently.
“They don’t watch the game. There are just so many other things to do.
“I started giving them homework assignments. Go home and watch a game. then summarize it for me. Write me a little outline.
“That got some of ‘em interested,” he said.
“I’ve got a few that are Duke fans now,” he said, referring to his favorite college basketball team. …
It’s been quite a year for Royce Skocdopole. In August, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Last month, he registered his 500th career baseball victory. after a 23-year stay at Bixby, Skocdopole reached the milestone while coaching at Kiefer. …
Speaking of milestones: Fort Gibson baseball coach Randy Smith won no. 700 last week. He’s been at Fort Gibson for 23 of his 30 years in coaching.
He still remembers his first win. “I’ve still got the ball from that game somewhere,” he said. …
when the NAIA inducted former NBA All-Stars Scottie Pippen, Terry Porter and Travis Grant into its Hall of Fame last month, the latter took the opportunity to heap praise upon the NAIA.
Porter, of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, played 17 years in the NBA. Grant played five years in the NBA and the ABA after leading Kentucky State to three straight NAIA championships (1970-72). He’s still the all-time leader in NAIA tournament scoring and holds the single-game points record of 60 in 1972. then there’s Pippen, of Central Arkansas, who became one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players.
“I grew up in the segregation era, and players weren’t going to the big universities. they were going to the historically black universities,” Grant told the Kansas City Star.
“Even when I was playing, attending a black university was great. That’s changed some now. Scholarships sometimes are not as good at those schools. Kids want full scholarships. It’s not just for the love of the game like it used to be.
“The NAIA is more for players who are coming to school for an education and are planning to stay (in college). The NAIA is great, because it prepares you for more than just basketball.”
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