Who is Fort Wayne’s Favorite male basketball player?
The voting is open until 6 p.m. Sunday.
James Hardy, G
Besides finishing as the county’s all-time career scoring leader with 1,823 points, Hardy led Elmhurst to the 2003 Class 3A state runner-up finish. He finished in the Indiana Mr. Basketball voting to Indianapolis’ A.J. Ratliff. While at IU, he appeared in 23 games in 2004-05, with three starts, averaging 1.7 points and 1.8 rebounds before he decided to concentrate on football. In just three seasons Hardy set school career receiving records for touchdowns (36), yards (2,740) and receptions (191). He gave up his final year of college eligibility to enter the NFL Draft. The Buffalo Bills selected him in the second round with the No. 41 pick.
Walter Jordan, F
After helping Northrop win the 1974 state title, Jordan went to Purdue where he grew into a 6-8 forward and averaged 14 points a game as a freshman and teamed with Fort Wayne’s Eugene Parker to lead the Boilers to a 21-9 record. As his scoring average increased to 18.8 points as a junior and 17.0 as a senior, Jordan was twice named All-Big Ten and Purdue’s Most Valuable Player. He also won a gold medal at the 1977 World University Games. By the time he graduated, Jordan was the fourth-leading scorer in Purdue history with 1,813 points and third all-time with 882 rebounds.
Willie Long, F
Following being named Indiana’s Mr. Basketball in 1967, the South Side star went to the University of New Mexico and established almost every scoring record the school had. He averaged 23.8 points per game as a junior and 23.9 as a senior, earning All-Western Athletic Conference honors both years. As a senior, he led the WAC in scoring and earned All-America honors as the Lobos climbed as high as No. 5 in the national rankings. His 1,542 points was the New Mexico career scoring record for 17 years. He was the second Lobo ever to score at least 1,500 points and grab 800 rebounds.
Brad Miller, C
The 7-foot big man from East Noble improved each season at Purdue, averaging 14.1 points and 8.3 rebounds as a junior and 17.2 points and 8.8 rebounds during his senior season. He played in four consecutive NCAA Tournaments and was the first Boilermaker to score 1,500 points, grab 800 rebounds and pass 250 assists, helping Purdue to win two Big Ten titles. Miller played in 128 games at Purdue, making 57 percent of his field goal attempts. Despite starting his pro career in Europe, Miller later was selected to play in two NBA All-Star Games and scored almost 10,000 points in the NBA.
Eugene Parker, G
The Concordia graduate played on four winning teams at Purdue as the Boilermakers finished 17-11, 16-11, 19-9 and 16-11. He graduated as Purdue’s sixth all-time leading scorer with 1,430 points and was seventh on the career assists lists with 424. Parker started 100 of the 110 games he played at Purdue and was a second-team all-Big Ten pick and Purdue’s Most Valuable Player as a sophomore. He was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001. Though he was drafted by San Antonio in the NBA, Parker played one season with Athletes in Action before enrolling in Valparaiso University law school.
Luke Recker, G
The DeKalb graduate and former Mr. Basketball had a controversial but very successful college basketball career. He started at Indiana where he averaged 12.1 points and 2.8 assists as a freshman and 16.1 points, 4 rebounds and 2.3 assists after a sophomore. After transferring to Arizona, he suffered many injuries in a horrific car accident and eventually transferred again, this time to Iowa where he played or IU legend Steve Alford. Recker averaged 18.1 points as a junior and 17.1 as a senior, including hitting a game-winning jumper against the Hoosiers in the Big Ten Tournament.
Herm Schaefer, G
After twice playing in the Indiana high school final four at Central High School, the 6-foot-1 Schaefer continued his career at Indiana University where he lettered from 1939 to 1941. During the 1939-1940 season, Schaefer helped IU win its first national championship, beating Kansas 60-42. Schaefer was IU’s leading scorer in the tournament, including scoring nine points in the title game. He was an all-American selection as a senior in 1941 and later helped the Minneapolis Lakers win the first NBA title in 1949, becoming the first player to win both an NCAA and NBA championship.
Bryson Scott, G
Scott finished his Northrop career with 2,042 points, the second-leading scorer in Allen County history behind Deshaun Thomas. As a senior, he averaged 23.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.0 steals to finish fourth in the Mr. Basketball voting. He helped Northrop win 70 games and three sectional titles over four seasons. During his two seasons at Purdue, Scott played 57 games, totaling 291 points, 122 rebounds and 73 assists before transferring to Fort Wayne. During two seasons with the Mastodons, Scott averaged 16.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists as a junior and 22.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.6 assists as a senior.
Caleb Swanigan F
After averaging 22.6 points and 13.7 rebounds as a senior to help Homestead win the state basketball title and earn Mr. Basketball honors, Swanigan decided to attend Purdue where he averaged 10.2 points and a Big Ten-leading 8.3 rebounds as a freshman. The 6-foot-7, 246-pounder came back even stronger as a sophomore, averaging 18.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and three assists for the Boilermakers, earning Big Ten Most Valuable Player honors as the Boilermakers won the conference championship and a Sweet 16 berth. He was the first player nationally since at least the 1985-86 season to total 640 points, 430 rebounds and 100 assists and also set a conference record with 28 double doubles on his way to being named first-team All-America. He was drafted No. 26 in the first round by the Portland Trailblazers and averaged 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds in 27 games as a rookie.
DeShaun Thomas, G
After setting the city scoring record at Bishop Luers, Thomas played at Ohio State for three seasons, playing 113 games and starting 76. He finished with a 14.4 career scoring average and 1,630 points which ranks ninth in Ohio State history. He scored 15.9 points as a sophomore and 19.8 as a junior, leading the Big Ten in scoring. Including a game career-high of 31 points, his 733 points as a junior is the third-most in Ohio State history. Thomas was a second-team all-Big Ten selection as a sophomore and first-team as a junior before moving on to start his professional career.