Four of these payers stand out to me. Eddie Palubinskas was one of the best shooters ever. Yes ever. At age 55, he can still shoot 99% from the foul line and 92% from the three! Too bad he did not have the three point line then! He was a likeable, fun loving guy. He seemed to truly like kids and he seemed to like me. He provided inspiration and had fun interacting with the fans, me being one of them! Mike Darnall was this great looking model of guy. He had style! He was intense and could perform under pressure! He was a solid player! He was a great defender. He could shut down any guard! He was like the rock. You could tell he had a little wild side to him too. For some reason, he also took a liking to me too. I remember that smile when I would go up and provide encouragement and congratulations! Eddie and Mike were my favorite one two guard attack! They were different personality wise and complemented each other on the court. I do not know of their relationship off the court, on the court they were great!
Thanks Eddie for being an elderly friend! Mike thanks for your strength, sportsmanship and style. Thanks for showing me, that being the team’s top defender could be glorious! I modeled my game after both of you and that of “Pistol Pete” I always wore number 10 and when that was not available, I wore 33. I named my first son Michael, yes after Mike Darnall!!!
Carl Seiner was just a great guy! He was primarily a back-up role player. In my mind, he was a star! He was always happy and made a point to say hi to me! I tried out for the original Tiger Tykes, made it to the final cut (hundreds tried out, from all across Louisiana . I should have made it, however, I got syked out and could not even make a simple layup. Carl was in charge of my station and he took me aside and told me I was good enough to make it and to just settle down. “You can do it”, he said. “I am pulling for you!”
Although I did not make it, he provided a simple belief that I was good enough! Afterwards, he said, “You are good enough to make it and with a little more practice, you will make it next year!” I did not get the chance to try out the next year, because we moved to Kansas. Those words have always stayed with me, “You can do it!” You are good enough! I am pulling for you!
Thanks Carl for pulling me aside and helping me out! I knew in my heart then, you were pulling for me!
Collis Temple was my first minority hero. He was the very first Black player, to play at LSU! Although I never got as close to him as I did Eddie, Mike and Carl, he was always cordial and showed me that color did not make the man, heart and character did! He was a solid physical talent and he was competitive! He was a hustler! He had the team’s back! As displayed in that Vanderbilt game, when Wade Evans was in trouble. Wow. Thanks Collis for what you showed me from afar!