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Meyer To Join State’s Hoops Elitle

By Staff | Mar 12, 2009

A Ruthven man will be among nine individuals to be inducted into the 2009 class of the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Loren Meyer will be inducted into the IHSAA Basketball Hall of Fame during ceremonies on Saturday night, March 14, at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines as part of the 2009 Iowa Boys High School Basketball Tournament.

The individuals being inducted along with Meyer include retired coaches Carl Cochran of Tri-Center, Neola; Jerry Slykhuis of Cedar Falls, and Postville’s Paul Jungblut. Former players being honored include Loren Meyer of Ruthven; Bill Francis of Palmer; Roger Dutton of Boone; Craig Douma, Maurice-Orange City; Russ Millard, Cedar Rapids Washington; and Todd Sears from Ankeny.

It wasn’t an uncommon scene in 1991 to see former Iowa State University Basketball Coach Johnny Orr sitting in the Ruthven-Ayrshire High School gym, smiling and watching a tall kid dominating his opponents in Cornbelt Conference basketball action. That kid was Loren Meyer, who would go on to score 1,996 points and snag 1,061 rebounds in his career as a Ruthven-Ayrshire standout. On two different occasions, Meyer would score 52 points in a single game, and on Feb. 28, 1991, Meyer racked up 60 points to lead Ruthven-Ayrshire to a win over league-rival Clay Central-Everly. Meyer would be a three-time First Team All Cornbelt Conference selection, and a First Team All State Selection by the Iowa Newspaper Association and the Des Moines Register, as well as a Third Team All American selection by Parade Magazine.

Johnny Orr would bring Loren to Ames, where became a dominating force in the Big Eight Conference for the Cyclones. Meyer would help propel Iowa State to NCAA Tournament appearances in 1992, 1993 and 1995, when he was named to the Big-8 All Tournament Team as s senior.

In the Spring of 1995, the NBA came to Ruthven as Meyer was drafted in the First Round by the Dallas Mavericks. Meyer would go on to play three seasons with the Mavericks, Phoenix Suns and the Denver Nuggets before retiring from the NBA and moving back to the Ruthven area, where he now resides.

Other inductees include the following players.

Todd Sears, Ankeny (1994) – scoring leader and all-state selection on Ankeny‚s 1993 and 94 State Tournament teams. He played successfully at Creighton University. He retired from a professional baseball career this fall.

Russ Millard – Cedar Rapids Washington (1991) ˆ outstanding prep career and dominating rebounder and inside scorer. All state honors in 1990 and 91. He played at the University of Iowa, where he earned All-Big 10 recognition.

Craig Douma, Maurice-Orange City (1990) – starter on three state tournament teams including the 1988 and 1989 champions. Still holds state tourney game (11) and single tournament record (20) for the most 3-pt field goals; he was a NAIA All American at Northwestern College. Successful high school coach in Iowa at South O’Brien and currently at Carroll.

Roger Dutton, Boone (1963) – top scorer in the Central Iowa Conference, two of his three years. He was the top vote getter on the one-class All-State Team in 1963, when he averaged 20.1 points per game, and led Boone to the State Tournament. Started and starred three years at University of Northern Illinois, before following a professional baseball career in the New York Yankees chain.

Bill Francis, Palmer (1983) – led Palmer to its first ever State Championship in 1983. Captained the all-tournament team and was second team All-State. Had a great career at Northwestern College with over 1,800 career points. He is currently coaching at Boyden-Hull (239-114).

Former coaches being inducted include the following:

Carl Cochran, Tri-Center, Neola – posted 40 year record of 551-330 (12th all-time) with stops at Elk

Horn-Kimballton and Tri-Center, Neola. He coached Tri-Center to five state tournament appearances, including second in 1986 and back-to-back trips in 2007 and 2008.

Jerry Slykhuis, Cedar Falls – 40 year career mostly at Cedar Falls after starting at Fort Madison. Career record of 531-305 (19th all time on the win list). Had six state tournament teams ˆ two at Fort Madison and four at Cedar Falls (1977- fourth; 1987- third).

Paul Jungblut, Postville – spent 27 years at Postville where he produced state tournament teams in 1990 and 1991 (third) and a career record of 384-141. Has been retired for the past four seasons.

The Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies are set for half-time of the boys Class 4A championship game on Saturday, Feb. 14 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.