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Archive for Monday, January 1, 2007

Prep shootist Arthur Bibbs

January 1, 2007

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In watching college basketball up close and personal the past many years, I've always been baffled by players who are reluctant to shoot the rock.

I'll admit it. When I played the game - and I didn't play at a high level - my goal was not just to win, but also to personally rack up some points. There's something about making baskets and free throws in a game with refs, a scoreboard, and real, live coaches, that always intrigued and enthralled me.

I think I know where I got that mentality - from watching my idol Arthur Bibbs play basketball. Bibbs, who toiled for Chicago's Brother Rice High School in the 1970s, was the leader of an otherwise nondescript team that didn't win many games.

Not because he didn't try.

Silky smooth small forward Bibbs - you must admit he has a neat name, one that rolls off the tongue - put up line-drive jumper after line-drive jumper (hmmm, I had a line-drive jumper, too), and often would score 20 or more points by halftime.

Shrugging off gimmick defenses, Bibbs normally finished in the upper 20s, mid to low 30s by game's end. I know, because I'd sit in the stands with friends and count his points.

Nobody ever accused Bibbs of ball-hogging because his teammates just weren't very good (thanks to the coach's ridiculous tryout system; yes, I'm still bitter about getting cut).

I never knew whatever became of Arthur Bibbs until this past week when current Bro. Rice coach Pat Richardson informed me Bibbs played college ball (for two years) at Tulane University.

A quick inspection of the Tulane press guide informed me that Bibbs once burned Louisville for 34 points in a game, just 11 points shy of the school record.

Attaboy Arthur ... who, trust me, is the best basketball player nobody's ever heard of.

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