Bert Borrone


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Undated copy of Bert Borrone's Park City Daily News column relating story of the first game played in the Health & Physical Education Building and other memories:

Diddle Likes Idea of First Collegiate Tourney Here Since 1947 When New Gym Is Finished

The first collegiate basketball tournament in Bowling Green since the last SIAA event in 1947 looks like a strong probability shortly after Western's planned new gymnasium becomes a reality, probably during the 1963-64 season.

"It would be something for the athletic committee to decide," said coach Ed Diddle. "I'd surely be in favor of it. It would be a good chance to show off the new court to a lot of strangers."

The tournament envisioned would be an invitational, probably in December. With the kind of facility the school has planned, a crack field could be obtained.

Judging from the packed houses at the series of KIAC and SIAA tournaments here in the 1930s and '40s, Bowling Green is a tournament town. That last one, in 1947, saw the Hilltoppers knock off Miami (Fla.) University in the final, 55-46, despite a brilliant performance by the celebrated Whitey Campbell. Packed houses saw all the night sessions.

The present gym evokes such fond memories, Diddle concedes he will feel a twinge when time comes to leave it. The greatest game ever played there will be a subject for debate when it is retired to a classroom building. But there is no doubt at all as to the funniest.

"that was the first one," said Diddle. "Back in 1930 against Georgetown College. We went to a lot of extra trouble to make it spick and span. Finally somebody had the idea the floor should be waxed. We didn't know much about Seal-O-San then.

"Somehow the finishing touch by the floor crew was fish oil. That was the slickest game we ever played. It looked like everybody was wearing ice skates. Nobody ran much in those days. But there was a game played at a dead walk."


Western Kentucky University, Helm-Cravens Library (WKU)


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