Local basketball hall of fame to add five members Friday

Mike ErwinJ-C Sports Writer
Local basketball hall of fame to add five members Friday

Five new members will officially join the Pawhuska Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday.

Induction ceremonies are to be held during a 5 p.m. banquet in the Fellowship Hall of Calvary Baptist Church, 620 E. 15th St. Tickets for the event cost $10 apiece and may be purchased at the door. Advance tickets are available at local banks and in the Pawhuska High School office.

The HOF Class of 2016 includes Hoby Muller, Charley Bighorse and Pat Carter — key players off Pawhuska Huskie teams from the 1940s through the 1960s. Also selected for membership were Harold Huffman, who coached successful local youth-league squads in the 1970s, and Gayla Boone, a 1980s standout of the PHS Lady Huskies.

Hall of Fame organizer Dale Christenson said three of the new members are expected to be in attendance Friday.

Muller, a 1948 PHS graduate, will probably not make the trip here from his home in Colorado, but 2008 HOF inductee Fred Muller “should be on hand to accept the honor on behalf of his brother,” according to Christenson.

Bighorse, who played on Pawhuska’s first state champion team in 1961, will be inducted posthumously. The immortal Huskie playmaker died in 2014.

“We’d been trying to make (Bighorse) a member for several years, but had not been able to locate him,” Christenson said. “When we finally found out where he had been living, we were told that he had passed away a couple of years ago.”

Christenson said one of Bighorse’s grandsons was recently a prep basketball standout at Glencoe.

“We’re hoping he (the grandson) will be here on Friday,” he added.

Since it was established in 2006, the Pawhuska Basketball Hall of Fame has worked to recognize and preserve a proud local tradition of basketball excellence — which includes high school state championships from 1961, 1970, 1971 and 1973. (The Huskies also were state runners-up in 1960 and 1962.)

“Many exceptional teams and individuals have contributed to this tradition,” said Christenson. “It is the desire of the Hall of Fame Committee to pay tribute to those who have made outstanding contributions to the program as well as former Huskies (and Lady Huskies) who have brought honor to Pawhuska basketball through their accomplishments.”

In addition to recognizing Pawhuska’s basketball stars of the past, the Hall of Fame seeks, through its programs, to inspire current and future Huskies, Christenson added.

Inquiries about the Pawhuska Basketball Hall of Fame can be directed to Christenson at 918-261-4540.

Here is some more information about the Hall-of-Fame selections of 2016:

— Harold Huffman, a retired educator who coached youth basketball and football here for two decades. His 16-and-under squads won AAU state titles in 1967-68 and players from his teams continued to have success at the high school level. Huffman served as the Youth Services of Osage County director for 37 years before retiring in 2014. He still resides in Pawhuska, where he has remained active on area boards and with local civic groups.

— The late Charley Bighorse earned All-State honors as a player on Pawhuska’s first state championship team in 1961. He also was a member of the 1960 squad that was state runnerup. An outstanding playmaker, “Little Charley” was considered the sparkplug of some outstanding Huskie squads. Newspaper accounts from that time call Bighorse “a demon on defense” who was a “master of the steal.” He also played for his Pawhuska HOF coach, Jim Killingsworth, in the All-State Game and, later, at the University of Tulsa.

— A 1969 PHS graduate, Pat Carter played three seasons for the Huskies. As a senior, his team reached the state semifinals. Carter received a basketball scholarship to Oklahoma State, where he played for two years. His brothers Mike (a ‘66 grad) and Tom (1973-75) were also players at PHS. Carter, who resides in Tulsa, received an accounting degree at OSU and worked as a Certified Public Accountant for more than 30 years.

— Ernest Hobart “Hoby” Muller graduated from Pawhuska in 1948. As a three-year letterman in three sports, he earned All-State recognition in baseball and honorable mentions for football and basketball. Muller’s three-sport athletic career continued at Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva before he was drafted into the military. He played baseball and worked as a physical trainer while serving in the Air Force. After graduating from UCLA as a chemistry major with minors in physics and mathematics, Muller became involved in the U.S. space program and worked with the Man on the Moon space project. Before retiring, he taught mathematics to gifted students in Los Angeles for many years.

— A 1988 PHS grad, Gayla Boone played four years for the Lady Huskies. She received a degree in Recreational-Management from the University of Central Oklahoma in 1993. For the past 13 years, Boone has been employed by the Cherokee Nation as a Child Care Licensed Caseworker. She resides in Tulsa with her two teenage children.