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UPCOMING BIRTHDAYS



•   Darlene Childers (Parker)  8/29
•   Terry A Arnold  9/16

TODAY'S CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS:

PROFILE UPDATES


•   Gene Stevens  7/11
•   Alberta Brumley (Egle)  7/11
•   Gary Atkinson (Atkinson)  7/10
•   Madalene Bibb (Simons)  7/7
•   John Royal  6/29
•   William L. Balsbaugh  6/22
•   Jerry Spencer  3/9
•   Janice Sink (Spencer)  3/8
•   Murza Lee  1/20
•   B. Paul Whitehurst  1/18
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MISSING CLASSMATES


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Marion High School
Class Of 1958

Welcome to the Marion High Class Of 1958 web site. 

Posted below is a story about Charlie Hughes.  Thought you would all like to read his amazing story!

HONORING CHARLIE HUGHES In the hoops world, everyone’s on his side
By Kyle Neddenriep                    kyle.neddenriep@indystar.com

ANDERSON — Before he became known as the glue guy on Indiana’s 1976 undefeated national championship team or played seven years in the NBA, Bobby Wilkerson was just another kid growing up in Anderson with big dreams.

It was 1969 and Wilkerson was a high school freshman, about to blossom into an excellent guard under coach Phil Buck at Madison Heights. It was around then that Wilkerson got to know Charlie Hughes, who was organizing and coaching local AAU teams, in that era made up of college-age players. Wilkerson’s older brothers played for Hughes’ Anderson ALACs teams.

“He was like part of the family,” Wilkerson said. “He’d come by the house, and he’d get to talking to my brothers and sisters and mom. A couple of hours would go by and Charlie would still be there talking.”

Wilkerson laughs at that recollection. Hughes has been on his mind a lot lately. The same goes for many others in the basketball community who appreciate the behind-the-scenes work of a man who has devoted much of his life as a volunteer organizer for youth hoops in Indiana.

Hughes, 74, will be recognized for his work as one of seven recipients of the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association’s Virgil Sweet Award at its annual clinic tonight at Lawrence North High School.

Because of his understated nature, many in the crowd might not realize the life-changing news
Hughes received three months ago. Or, because of his relentlessly positive, one-day-ata- time attitude, the difficult journey that awaits him.

Charlie is the best,” Wilkerson said. “A true friend.”

The bad news

In early January,
Hughes was driving to Howe High School to drop off entry forms for an upcoming tournament. Although he’d driven there dozens of times, he couldn’t locate Emerson Avenue and called his friend and colleague, Gary Betts, for directions.

Later that afternoon, he drove to Avon to drop off more information. He ended up 45 miles down the road in Brazil.

“I didn’t know where I was,” he said. “I’d never even been to Brazil in my life.”

His wife, Catherine, got a call from the police that evening. They didn’t suspect drugs or drinking and asked if he’d been having any physical problems.

“Looking back, he had been getting a little forgetful, but I attributed that to him being in his 70s,” Catherine said. “They said they’d check his blood sugar. I didn’t give it a whole lot of thought.”

On the phone with his wife much of the way home,
Hughes finally made it back to Anderson at about 4:30 a.m. A few hours later, Catherine called the family doctor, who examined him and then quickly called for a neurosurgeon.

The news was not good: An inoperable, fast-growing cancerous tumor was found on his brain.

“It knocked us all for a loop,” Catherine said. “I’m still spinning. This is a man who never drank, smoked or partied a day in his life. He loves basketball. But here he ends up with the most dire diagnosis a person could have.”

The good news is that
Hughes’ body has reacted favorably to radiation and chemotherapy. He didn’t encounter any of the nausea or headaches that often accompany cancer treatments.

“I don’t know how good I’ve done, but I haven’t had a lot of side effects,”
Hughes said.

He pauses, then chuckles: “Can you tell I’m not normal?”

Decades in basketball

Because he’s not a coach or player,
Hughes might not be a household name among basketball fans. But for 50 years, his hard work behind the scenes as an event organizer has been widely appreciated.

“You talk about a guy who has done a lot for basketball and for kids in Indiana, that’s
Charlie,” said Carmel basketball coach Scott Heady. “And he does it for nothing. It’s never about him.”

A native of Marion,
Hughes began organizing teams as a 22-year-old in 1962. He coached men’s division (college- age) AAU teams in the 1970s with players like Wilkerson and Indiana teammate Scott May. On the walls of his home office are framed photos of him with those players, former Indiana coach Bob Knight and former Purdue coach Gene Keady.

Hughes stopped coaching in 1977 and focused on organizing events, such as the Special Olympics fundraiser he started in the mid-’70s. Hughes worked for General Motors in Anderson from 1964 until retirement in 2006 and was never paid for his basketball work.

“He’s the kind of guy who would do anything for you and once you’re his friend, you’re his friend for life,” said Alexandria High School Principal Jim Regenold, who has known
Hughes for more than 40 years. “He wants the spotlight on the players. I think he’s kind of embarrassed when he gets any attention.”

One of
Hughes’ favorite events is the high school boys shootout in June that is going into its 10th year. Every year, the Class 4A champion has played in the tournament, which is played with high school teams and under high school rules.

This year, the tournament was officially named the “
Charlie Hughes High School Shootout.”

“That’s kind of his baby,” Heady said of the tournament. “That’s one thing he’s probably as proud of as anything. It’s just kept growing and growing every year.”

Road ahead


Hughes doesn’t dwell on what he can’t control.

“He believes in God very much and believes it’s in his hands,” Catherine said. “He’s given the steering wheel over to God. I’ve never seen him feel sorry for himself or question, ‘Why me?’ He doesn’t have that bone in his body.”


Hughes has slowly been turning over some of his responsibilities as AAU boys basketball chairman, but did spend a full day at a middle school tournament last weekend. He plans to continue to work as long as he feels healthy.

That doesn’t surprise those who have known him for decades.

“When he called to tell me (about the tumor), he sounded upbeat,” Wilkerson said. “We had a great time talking and laughing about old stories. My heart goes out to him. He’s like a family member to me. That’s the type of friend he is.”

True to form, questions to
Hughes about himself usually veer off into old stories. He’s not scared, he said. He feels good and is comforted by the phone calls and messages he has received since his diagnosis.

He reads one, from Fishers sixth grade coach Steve Foutty: “You are a great mentor and influence on the kids and all us. Take care,
Charlie, you’ve impacted a lot of people.”

A simple thank you. It’s all he needs to hear. 



 

 

Class of '58, you are the greatest!

 

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