INDIANA BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME

2 from region among Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame 2014 induction class

2013-12-03T17:15:00Z 2013-12-23T22:36:06Z 2 from region among Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame 2014 induction classAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
December 03, 2013 5:15 pm  • 

When our elusive dreams seem far off in another galaxy, we eventually forget about it and move on.

Orsten "Little O" Artis and Paul Patterson, both in their 70s, did just that. And then they got 'the call' that had their hearts beating like bongo drums.

Artis and Patterson are among 13 inductees to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame 2014 induction class. Patterson will also receive the Silver Medal Award.

A retired Gary police detective, Artis graduated from Froebel High School and starred on Texas Western's 1966 NCAA championship team that upset the all-white Kentucky squad led by Pat Riley.

Texas Western was the first team in NCAA Tournament history to start five African-Americans.

Patterson, a 1960 Morton grad, coached 34 seasons at Taylor University where his teams won 734 games, making him the winningest coach at an Indiana four-year college or university.

He had 28 winning seasons and 14 appearances in the NAIA National Tournament, including the '91 Final Four.

"It took long enough," Artis said, jokingly. "They waited until I was an old, old man. I had kinda forgotten all about it, since it had taken so long."

One of 12 children, Artis credited basketball for keeping him on the good side of the law.

"It kept me out of trouble, though I wasn't a bad kid. My dad kept us in line," he said. "At that time, playing basketball was mostly all we did to stay out of trouble.

"Of course, the kids back then weren't as bad as they are now. You never heard of anyone smoking marijuana or drinking."

Artis has been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and last weekend had his jersey retired at Texas-El Paso, formerly Texas Western.

Patterson, who retired last May, was caught completely off guard by his induction notice.

"I was stunned. I could barely explain it to my wife when I got the call," he said. "I'm just humbled to be part of the whole thing.

"It's a real confirmation of what I believe coaching is all about: Coaches are teachers. We're only as good as the young people we get to work with."

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