STEVE HANLON: Just as it should be

2013-01-18T21:00:00Z 2013-01-31T20:57:13Z STEVE HANLON: Just as it should beSteve Hanlon Prep Beat nwitimes.com
January 18, 2013 9:00 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | Larry Bird is there. So is Oscar Robertson. John Wooden, too.

Don't know if Jimmy Chitwood is there but he probably should be.

The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame is a hallowed place. The shrine in New Castle is a hoop lover's Graceland.

Only the best, the greatest, get an invitation to be enshrined.

Crown Point will have two of its greatest girls basketball players in history go into “The Hall” in April. Nancy Cowan (Eksten) and Annie Kvachkoff (Equihua) found this out a few weeks ago.

Their names will now be next to others like Steve Alford, George McGinnis and Bobby Plump.

“Yeah, we're equally of the same caliber,” said Equihua, the head basketball coach at her alma mater before they played Michigan City Friday night. “It's ridiculous.”

Eksten, whose daughter is on the Bulldogs' junior varsity team, had the same humility about this honor.

“I'm overwhelmed,” she said. “It's a huge honor.”

What these two did was remarkable. Historic. Off the chart. Most know the story. In 1983 C.P. finished second in the state with Kvachkoff and Cowan in the backcourt. In 1984 they won it all. And in 1985, after Cowan graduated, the Bulldogs did it again.

“I didn't even know there was a Hall of Fame when I was a kid,” Equihua said.

“I didn't really know there was a state tournament,” Eksten said.

Cowan set the C.P. scoring record. Kvachkoff broke it. Cowan played at Kentucky and Indiana. Kvachkoff at Purdue.

They were both great individual players, which is why they're now next to guys like Bird. But it was the team thing that set these two ladies apart.

“There are so many people, so many reasons, I was able to have the success I did,” Equihua said. “Great coaches. Great teammates. They are all a part of this.”

Both gave big-time credit to their coach, another Hall of Famer, Tom May. The three of them changed girls basketball in the state of Indiana.

Scott Reid is an assistant for C.P. He was also an assistant in 1985. His life is intertwined with two of Indiana's latest Hall of Famers.

His knowledge on the subject is undeniable.

“How many girls chose to become basketball players because of what Annie and Nancy did?” Reid said. “They are forever linked. What they did for girls basketball in this town says it all. They did the same thing in the state.

“This is how it has to be. They have to go in together.”

So Bird and Wooden, move over. Just as it should be.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at steve.hanlon@nwi.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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