#HoosierNation mourns loss of seminal family member as Olympian, Hall of Famer Walt Bellamy died this morning, http://t.co/irn7BbgR7s #iubb
— HallandaleBeachBlog (@hbbtruth) November 2, 2013
Hoosier Nation has lost one of its great legends today with the passing of Walt Bellamy, IU and NBA Hall of Famer. pic.twitter.com/anfdi6e6co
— Indiana University (@IUBloomington) November 2, 2013
A starter on the IU basketball team from 1959-61, Walt Bellamy was also IU's Most Valuable Player, an All-Big Ten and All-American in his junior and senior seasons of 1960 and 1961, the starting center of the Gold Medal-winning Olympic basketball team at the 1960 Rome Olympics, and remains IU's all-time IU rebound leader. He was a 1982 Inductee into the IU Athletics Hall of Fame.
Rookie of the Year Roommates: Bellamy's freshman roommate was IU football star Earl Faison. Their first year away from IU, Faison, of the San Diego Chargers, was named AFL Rookie of the year while Bellamy, with the Chicago Packers, was voted NBA Rookie of the Year.
More at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Bellamy
I must've sat in the TV room at the Indiana Memorial Union hundreds and hundreds of times with Walt Bellamy's black & white photo right next to me from 1979-1983, watching local news, sports, General Hospital, All My Children, et al when that room was packed full of IU students and festooned with Hoosier athletic memories from decades past, from floor to ceiling, basketballs to footballs, photos and trophies.
Only one of my favorite places on campus, it was also my (and many friends') unofficial hangout in that era before cell phones made communication so easy.
And with all the long hours I put in with the Student Athletic Board (SAB)and the-then IU Student Alumni Council, (SAC), as I've written here previously, I sometimes spent more time there than I did at home in my apt.
On a huge-but-beautiful campus like we were blessed to enjoy in Bloomington, with so many attractive distractions and lots of distance sometimes between classes in my case, that TV room at the enormous Student Union, with all of its memories was one of my/our Centers of the Universe, every IU team photo, medal, football, basketball like part of our family heritage that we had an obligation to live up to.
And in my sophomore year of 1980-1981, we did, winning the fourth of IU's NCAA basketball championships, with the able defensive help of one of my friends, James "Jim" Thomas, #20, Mr. Florida Basketball his senior year at Nova High School in Davie, and a member of the 1981 NCAA Tournament All-First Team for everything he did to help the Hoosiers that remarkable March to remember.
Jim was Coach Knight's first-ever recruit ever from Florida.