The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame is making room for two more Region athletes.
Davage Minor, who graduated from Froebel in 1941, and Ted Guzek, who graduated from Morton in 1954, will be included in the 2020 class, according to a press release from the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be held March 25, 2020.
Both men had successful prep careers before going on to make a name for themselves at the next level. However, after a standout career at Butler, Guzek decided not to pursue a professional career.
“When he got out of college, I remember Oscar Robertson coming up to talk him because Oscar was down in Indianapolis,” said Bob Guzek, Ted’s younger brother. “He wanted him to go pro, and (Ted) told him, ‘I don’t want to go pro. I don’t want any part of pro.’ And Oscar said, ‘All these teams want you.’ But he just didn’t want to play. He married into a really wealthy family so money was no object.”
Although Ted Guzek passed up the NBA, he still had a storied career. During his senior year at Morton, he averaged 18.5 points per game and was arguably one of the best players in Butler history. Ted Guzek was a three-year starter for the Bulldogs and was named a Helms All-American as a junior in 1957. That season, he averaged 21.2 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.
Ted Guzek’s most notable performance came on Dec. 15, 1956, when he shot 13-for-13 from the field in an 84-77 loss to Michigan, which still stands as the Butler record for most made field goals without a miss. He finished his career with 1,311 points, the third-most in program history upon his graduation in 1958, and was a member of Butler’s inaugural Hall of Fame class in 1991.
From Bob Guzek’s perspective, none of his brother’s achievements would have been possible without former Hammond coach Bob King. After turning down a scholarship offer at a college in New Mexico, Ted Guzek moved back home to be closer with his family. King put him in contact with legendary Butler coach Paul D. "Tony" Hinkle.
“(King) told Ted, ‘Hey, Tony Hinkle wants to see you. He wants you to come down to the fieldhouse,’” Bob Guzek said. “So he went out there, and he was shooting around, and then (Hinkle) told him what spots he wanted him to shoot from. And after he got done shooting, he said, ‘You got a full scholarship.’”
Aside from his brother’s athletic accomplishments, Bob Guzek was a standout football, basketball and baseball player in his own right at Morton. He signed with the White Sox straight out of high school in 1963 and also pitched in the Athletics’ system. Both siblings are members of the Hammond Sports Hall of Fame.
While the Guzeks are recognized as one of the Region’s most athletically gifted families, Minor’s legacy goes beyond his ability on the hardwood.
After joining the Baltimore Bullets in 1951, he became “the first African American to play for an NBA team south of the Mason-Dixon line, the first African-American from Indiana to play in the NBA and one of the first five African-Americans ever to play in the NBA,” according to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s press release. In addition to Baltimore, Minor also played for the Milwaukee Hawks and ended his two seasons in the NBA with 877 points, 527 rebounds and 288 assists in 116 games.
In his senior at Froebel, Minor led the school to its first and only state finals appearance and is considered to be the first player from Northwest Indiana to develop a jump shot. He went on to star at Toledo before he put his career on hold to serve in the US Army during World War II. Afterward, Minor continued his career at UCLA and even joined the Harlem Globetrotters for a brief period.
Both Minor and Ted Guzek have since passed away. Minor died in 1998, and Ted Guzek and his wife, Peggy, were killed in a car accident in 1974.
“It was just one of those things,” Bob Guzek said. “He got his master’s degree and was gonna be the head of the Southport school system, and he never got to do that. He was going to start that year and got killed before it happened."