Here's the moment we've all been waiting for: The 2013 list of the Greatest Sumter Basketballers to Ever Strut the Earth - men and women - is here.
This marks the fifth year for the men, and the fourth for the women.
Two of the new men's inductees come with a heartfelt nomination from Tom O'Hare, a professional Sumter Daily Item sports correspondent, who also happens to be a teacher, history scholar, coach and all-around aficionado of sports.
Here's his nomination letter:
I have been enjoying your stories on Sumter's All-Time Basketballers. There are a couple of kids from my days at the former Sumter Catholic I would like to nominate.
Ricardo Wilson was a 5-9 guard who had one of the sweetest jump shots Sumter has seen. He started four years of varsity basketball, from 1995-1998, and was a key part of some exciting teams at Sumter Catholic during those years. We used to run alley-oops for him, and it was quite a sight to see him soar up and throw one of those down. His most memorable moment was his senior year, when Woody Lathan was coaching them, when he went the length of the court in the state quarterfinals with 5 seconds on the clock and banked in a jumper in the lane at the buzzer to win the game. Ricardo graduated from Winthrop and is enjoying a very successful career in the United States Army.
One of Ricardo's teammates and classmates, Paul Fer, was a four-year starter at Sumter Catholic as well. Paul was one of the best 3-point shooters Sumter has seen. His range was way outside the 3-point line - if you left him open from 25 feet or closer he would nail it. The game I remember most was the time we went to Thomas Sumter and he made five 3-pointers - in the first quarter. Paul was not as athletic or complete a player as Ricardo, but as far as shooting the 3, the only Sumter guy I'd compare him with was Ray Allen. Paul was that good of a shooter. Paul graduated from Mt. St. Mary's College and is now vice-principal of a school in Maryland.
We had some fun teams at Sumter Catholic before the school closed. I hope you can remind people in Sumter about some of the kids that played for us.
Is that a beautiful tribute, or what?
Here are the other new inductees: Wesley Talley (who joins brother Matt on the team); Claude Lathan (who joins father Woody on the team); Chris Mitchum Vandevander, Laura McLaughlin, Kappy Price and Naomi (Farmer) VanPatten.
Here's the complete list at the end of Season Five for the men, in no particular order:
Wilbert Singleton, Ray Allen, Clarke Bynum, Will Bynum, Kenneth "Mooch" Richardson, Lee Anderson, Vincent Wilson, Ernest Session, Dean Johnson, Trey Harvin, Calvin Goins, Raymond Pringle, Walter Wheeler, Reggie Holmes, Roger McFaddin, Terrance Scriven, Terry Kinard, Odell Reuben, Ronnie Motley, Randy Weston, Humzie Way, Tony Mincey, Danny Ramsey, Sam Hunter, Barry Holzbach, Barry Parker, John McArthur, Craig Singleton, Art Beasley, Ricky Curtis, Brant Bahnmuller, Woody Lathan, Doug Lightbody, Skip Seebeck, Claude Burns, Tracy Oxendine, Marshall "Bucko" Edens, Byron Kinney, Spencer Player, Phil Sutton, Ed Bynum, Mark Kuhn, Robbie Davis, Ronnie Fiorini, Kelvin Green, Marcus Wilson, Ernest Rosenburg, Darren McDuffie, Cooper Wilson, Matt Talley, Mike Robinson, Greg Puckering, Tommy Hughes, Mike Towery, Kenny Rosefield, Floyd Vaughn, Manning Pringle Jr., Rhuel Pringle, Tony Wilson, Eric Parker, John Lewis, David Stone, Joe Spann, Fred Brogdon, Tip Kirby, Willie Anderson, Harry Lee Fulwood, Leroy Gary, Richard Singleton, Leon Rawlinson, Coley White, Lindberg "The Bird" Moody, Calvin McCroy, Bobby Baker, John Baker, Troy Baird, Chip Humphries, Will Dinkins, Hamilton Davis, Kevin Kieslich, Adam McClain, Terrence Kinard, Billy "Tex" Trembley, Ernest Stroman, Philip Mouradijan, Tommy "Cotton" Williams, Booth Chilcutt, Bobby Richardson, Tommy Edens, Ray Ardis, Henry Clarke, Tommy Martin, Charles "Pap" Propst, Charles "Flop" Shaw, Al Golden, James Robinson, Derrick Wright, Ronnie Mayrant, Harry Lee Cabbagestalk, David Jackson, Henry Holmes, Lee Rust Wells, David Allen, Terry Johnson, LeRoy Martin, Ed Cuttino, Jud Cuttino, Justin Porter, Paul Fer, Ricardo Wilson, Wesley Talley and Claude Lathan.
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Here's the complete women's list at the end of Season Four, in no particular order:
Elizabeth Bultman, Frances (Burns) Hogan, Jeannie Richardson, Christie Richardson, Wesley Shaw, Margaret Shaw, Mikaela Hopkins, Karen Weishuhn, Tina Milford, Kappy Price, Susan Creech, Danielle (Weible) Taylor, Kaye (Watts) Chase, Sheila (Steele) Thacker, Suzanne (Steele) Sears, Tracy Montgomery, Laura Brailsford, Michelle Akers, Nichelle Akers, Tiffany Mayes, Beth (Ballard) Kinney, Margaret Hunter, Lucy Harris, Teresa (O'Hare) Alexander, Susanna Crosson, Bess DuRant, Lauren Davis, Elizabeth Moses, Emily Bland, Kelly Ross, Julia Gee Muldrow, Abbie Floyd Kirby, Susie Lowry Reynolds and Mary Lou Reynolds Lee; Elaine (Maggie) Watts Hanisch, Kay (Morris) Shugart, Judy (Epting) Shuping; Frances Fields; Lillian McGill; Ra'Quitta Lundy, Chris Mitchum, Valerie Allen, Christy Burrows Kelly, Ashley (Evans) Harper, Meri (Jones) DesChamps, Caroline (Erter) Burns, Heather Eldridge, Mollie (Simpson) Matthews, Heather Rowland, Kendra Rowland, Brennan Long, Meg (Brogdon) Hill, Allison Jackson, Shawna Waters, Lynn Finney, Shelia Hodge, Kathy Flaten, Tonya Williams, Julie Larson, B.J. Thames, Naretta Simon, Allene Fleming, Yvonne Lockwood, Lakyisha Wright, Nicole Gamble, Marsha (Cubbage) Somheil, Chris Edens, BeBe Karvelas (aka Judge Aphrodite Konduros); Annette and Jannette McFadden, Sarah Segars Barnes, Ann Norris , Joy Galloway Causey, Deborah Buford, Nichelle Akers, Marina Akers, Ansley Ard, Chris Mitchum Vandevander, Laura McLaughlin, Kappy Price and Naomi (Farmer) VanPatten.
Graham Osteen is a co-owner of Osteen Publishing Co. and Editor-At-Large of The Item. Contact him at The Item, 20 North Magnolia St., Sumter, S.C., 29150; firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 803-774-1352.