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Thanks so much to the Crawfordsville District Public Library database for this picture

Source: Big Bang of Basketball by AH "Tuck" Williams p. 25 Without Wingate and Wabash basketball history as unsuually succesful underdog champions, it is unlikely the interest, growth and particupation in the sport in Indiana the US and world would have occurred as it did. During Braoders' high school years there was a grade school farm boy that put up a small ring on the woodshed in his barnyard near Wingate. Homer Sonebraker's hoop was about half the size of a regulation goal. He used a rubber ball about the size of a tennis ball to practice shooting. His relentless practice prepared him for a hs, college and pro basketball career that put him in the same class as the all-time basketball greats from Indiana. During his Jr. year at Wingate, 1913, Stonebraker led Wingate to a 21-4 record with a single game in which he scored 80 points. Wingate had an enrollment of about 60 pupils and their Indiana State Championship against much larger city schools created tremendous interest, enthusiasm and participation in the sport thru-out the Hoosier state. A repeat state high basketball cahmpion in Indiana was highly improbable. Stonebraker's playu and underdog champsionhsip in 1913 put both in great demand. Everyone in thestate wanted to play against the Spartans and the Wingate community supported their champions to the point of hysteria. John Wingate himself made two strategic constributions that help fuel the statewide hysteria. John W. made arrangements for a special train to transport 500 Wingate fans from a 20 mile radius of Wingate across the state to the city of Kokomo. Stonebraker scored the first 20 points of the game and the Spartans won 33-13. John Wingate's second significant contribution was to provide his Spartan team a professional trainer for the state final competition. The final day of the torunament required teams to play in four games in one day. John Wingate paid $300 (1914) for the masseur who dealt with the players bruises, fatigue, leg cramps and black eyes. The trainer made the difference in Wingate's repeat championship. Homer Stonebraker, Pete Thorn and three of their all-state teammates went to Wabash College. Stonebraker rec'd All-American honrs 3 years consecutively at Wabash competinging against and beating PU, IU, Notre Dame and Ill. Peter Thorn earned an impossibley 16 varsity letters in his Wabash Career. Stonebraker, after completing his military service in WWI took his uncanny shooting skills to the BL finishing his basketball career with the Chicago Bruins in 1928. Stonebraker began his basketball career when fans went to games in horse & buggy and walked miles to practice, since Wingate did not have their own gymnasium. The founder of hte Harlem Globetrotters Abe Saperstein described Homer Stonebrake the greatest all-around center he had ever seen at the time. p 29 - The WIngate-Wabash basketball tradition was now in place and the next class of Wingate basketball legends that witnessed Stonebraker's career entered Wingate HS in 1916, Lon Goldsberry & Herb Crane learned from Homer Stonebraker and Pete Thorn. They learned fundamentals watching their elder heroes. 1917-1918 Lon Goldesberry and Herb Crane's Spartan youthful squad were defeated in the semi-state tournament at PU.

Source: Big Bang of Basketball by A.H. (Alan Howard "Tuck") WIlliams p 42 from an article from I assume the Crawfordsville Journal Review that was photocopied in the book

Homer Stonebraker, Class of 1918 A member of Wingate's two state hs basketball championship teams, Stony came to Wabash in 1914 and proceeded to start in two sports. He played center of Paul Sheek's undeeated football team of 1915 as well as center on Coach Sheeks' second Wonder Five basketball team of 1916-17. Everyone's all-Western (the equivalent of all-America) choice as a senior, he went on to play pro football and basketball. A member of Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, he died Dec 9, 1977.

See also his obituaries

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Data contained within this website may only be used with permission of the submitter, for non-commercial research and educational activities, and for personal genealogical information.

Data contained within this website may only be used with permission of the copyright holder(s), for non-commercial research and educational activities, and for personal genealogical information. © 2014 by Karen Zach, and licensed to the Indiana GenWeb (INGenWeb) Project and the USGenWeb Project. May be used in personal research with a citation.

This page created:  

12 October 2012