Herb could have stopped him

If you are reading this then you are not voting for the Alaska Sports Hall Of Fame.


And with all this hype around the sports block recently concerning the exploits of a mister Jack Taylor, then voting is definitely necessary.

If anyone could have stopped Jack Taylor, it was Southeast Alaska’s Herb Didrickson. The Sheldon Jackson Junior College and city league phenom shunned college because he loved Alaska. Yet he often played against semi-pros and college lads, and he was never out played.

Herb would have stopped Jack Taylor.

Jack Taylor, if you haven’t been offshore at Barrow playing ice hockey, scored 138 points in a college basketball game on November 20.

Well, a Division III college game.

Okay, it was against Faith Baptist Bible College.

I am not saying FBBC was defenseless, but they were... well, defenseless.

Jack Taylor, all 5-foot-10 of him, donned a Grinnell College uniform and went downtown Iowa all over his “opposition.” The only player I have seen who looked more “unhoopish” was Robby Benson’s character Henry Steele in “One on One.”

So.... Taylor doesn’t boast blazing speed, or great hops... he wasn’t extremely accurate (27-71 from three-point land) and less than 50-percent from the field everywhere, which included some layups.

If you watch the film it is just Taylor shooting, basically.

The defense is standing, half lunging, and half watching. No one else is taking a shot and, by-the-way, that was the team’s Christian plan... to have Jack Taylor set the record.

There is no way, and you can ask any player from middle school through city league, that you let a guy drop 30 points on you, let alone four times that.

Would Henry Steele? Not if he wanted to keep that scholarship.

Do you think recent JDHS alums Tony Yadao and Lance Ibesate would have been all back pedaling and running into screens trying to D-up?

No chance.

Would Thunder Mountain’s Tupou brothers be watching the net swish on them?

Maybe when pigs fly.

Josh and Vili are schooled, as were Tony and Lance and their coaches, by the “Six Degrees Of Clair Markey.”

The late Clair Markey was the defensive center of the universe. He coached at the high school, college and professional level. His teams were famous for offense (his University of Alaska Southeast squad average over 97 points, the fifth highest in the NAIA) but he valued defense.

Would Markey let some baby-faced imp drop even a dime on him?

Not without some solid defensive slide and stance.

My perspective on all this is simple.

The man that taught me how to play ball set the Alaska High School single game scoring record of 69 points in 1973 against Mt. Edgecumbe High School.

Petersburg Vikings’ 5-foot-8 guard Dave Ohmer hit 28 field goals (there was no three-point line then), and was 13-13 at the charity stripe (that was the only charity by the way, he had players actually guarding him).

Mister Ohmer taught me one important lesson: play defense hard and foul harder.

In 2009, Tok’s Skylar Webb broke Ohmer’s mark with 74 points, in overtime by the way, and with 12 points coming from the 3-point line, and against F.H. Collins Warriors from Whitehorse (hockey town, not hoops).

So I grew up getting my “proverbial) butt handed to me by Ohmer; Day-in and day-out my job was to attempt to play defense.

And I got better.

And better.

And I was able to attend a junior college and a D-I school and attempt to play.

At one open gym in California, a starting guard for Cal State Fullerton put me into the bleachers when I drove baseline.... but hey, SHE was tough.

So we need top defenders in the Alaska Sports Hall Of Fame.

We need Herb Didrickson.

Herb would have stopped Jack Taylor.

And Herb would have dropped 30 on him to boot. Herb would have dunked a few as well.

When Herb played dunking was not allowed and Herb would tip in shots with his elbow at the rim.

When Herb played he could jump center, tip the ball to a teammate, run the floor for a return pass to score, and then race down the court to swat the opponents shot.

You know a player is great when his name is mentioned among generations from young to old.

Professional players who competed against K.C. Jones and Bill Russell have said Herb Didrickson could have played for any team in the world.

Even Markey once said his UAS lads could have been scoring over 120 if Herb was with them.

The Alaska Sports Hall Of Fame voting for the 2013 class ends tonight at midnight Alaska Standard Time.

So stop reading and get online at www.alaskasportshall.org and vote. Vote for Herb to shut down Jack Taylor, vote for Herb to play forever in Alaska.


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