HOF Class of 2015 inducted

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
HOF Class of 2015 inducted

Each of the four new inductees to the Pawhuska Basketball Hall of Fame arrived for Friday’s ceremonies accompanied by ample numbers of friends and family.

The entourage of Lauren Gould-Garrett held a special bond, which the 2004 Pawhuska High School graduate revealed as she was presented with a commemorative plaque by banquet emcee, and fellow Hall-of-Famer, Travis Finley.

“I know I’m a little bit younger than the others,” said Garrett, who as the ninth Lady Huskie to enter the local Hall was the youngest member — by more than three decades — in the HOF Class of 2015. “I’m also proud to be the fourth inductee in my family.”

Entering the Pawhuska Hall previously were Gould-Garrett’s great uncles, Milton Labadie and the late Stan Labadie, as well as one of her cousins, Charley Mounts. Garrett still resides in the area, as do her surviving kinfolk.

Former PHS coach Dale Christenson started the local Hall in 2006 with an inaugural HOF class that included the Huskies’ four state championship teams (from 1961, 1970, 1971 and 1973), former coaches Jim Killingsworth and Max Shuck, and ex-Pawhuska school superintendent Oren Terrill.

Shuck, who coached all three of the 1970’s champions, was among the dozens of former honorees in attendance Friday. He shared a story about the second-youngest of the new inductees — Kent May, a towering 6-7 center for the 1971 title-winning squad.

“A lot of players are better than they think they are,” Shuck said, adding. “Kent finally found out how good he was his senior year.”

May, a retired ranch manager who resides near Dustin, said he was humbled to be placed alongside players he had idolized while growing up.

“I don’t feel I’m in the same category as some here,” said May. “Travis Finley and Carlos Gripado are names I thought about all the time.”

Another of the new Hall-of-Famers, Jay Hurt, was also quick to deflect any glory toward his former teammates and older Pawhuska players he admired.

“This award is not about me, it’s about the people in Pawhuska who took us under their wings and nurtured us,” said Hurt, a retired longtime coach who was named a high school All-American in football as a Huskie senior in 1962. “This town had some great basketball teams and many of their greatest players are here tonight.”

Hurt, who now lives on a farm north of Dewey, also played on the first Huskie state championship squad in 1961 and on PHS state runners-up of 1960 and ‘62.

The fourth HOF honoree, Louis Surber, was another football standout for the Huskies. A 1948 PHS grad, Surber earned All-State honors on the gridiron in addition to being the first-ever recipient of the school’s Ormand Beach Award. Surber also was a the top ball handler for Pawhuska’s legendary basketball squad of 1947, which lost by two points in the state semifinals.

Surber, a longtime area resident, made a special point of mentioning the outstanding ability of black high school basketball players from Pawhuska in the years prior to integration — which occurred in the late 1950s.

“If we’d have and Hoover Coffey and one or two of the Gilkeys,” recalled Surber, “we’d have won a state championship every single year.”e

Later Friday, in between PHS’s girls and boys contests against Perry, the new HOF inductees were introduced to the crowd at Oren Terrill Field House. Despite poor health which forced him to use a walker, Surber made his way to center court to join the other three members of the 2015 Class — whose names will soon be place on the PHS gymnasium wall with the nearly 50 other Hall members.