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ICC to Induct 1963 championship basketball team into Hall of Fame

ICC to Induct 1963 championship basketball team into Hall of Fame

Front Row (left to right) George Knittle, Bill Todd, Bill Gaertner, Bob Faulkner, Jim Murray, Ricky Park. Back Row (left to right) Bob Sneller (Coach), Bob Fedorko, Jim Rash, Calvin Taylor, Bill Dougherty, Elroy Moore, Joe Beck, John Chacona (Team Manager)

Independence, Kansas, January 26, 2018 –  Independence Community College (ICC) has announced that the 1963 men’s basketball team will be inducted into the Pirate Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday, Feb 10.

The Pirates, coached by Bob Snelller, finished that season with 26 wins and only 3 losses. The 1963 squad boasted 2,321 points for the year, an average of an astonishing 80 points per game, while yielding an average of only 62.3 points to opposing teams.

“We are looking forward to celebrating the team that brought us our first National Basketball Championship and inducting the men who started the legacy of championship basketball at Independence Community College,” said Tammie Geldenhuys, ICC athletic director.

The team featured a talented set of starters and an extremely deep bench, with seven total players scoring in triple digits on the year. The team was led in points by sophomore Rick Park who shot 58 percent from the field with 688 points on the year.

The squad also featured freshman, George Knittle, who shot 87 percent from the free-throw line, including 26 straight shots from the line - a record for consecutive free-throws that still stands today.

The Pirates finished the regular season 18-3 and defeated Coffeyville in the sub-regional tournament to advance to the State Championship, where the Pirates beat Hutchinson Community College in the finals, 49-47 to advance to Nationals.

ICC would go on to beat Murray State (Oklahoma), Chipola (Florida), and Casper (Wyoming) before facing Moberly College (Missouri) in the National Championship game, 73-68.

The ceremony honoring the 1963 champions will begin at 11:30 AM with a tour of the college’s facilities, followed by a luncheon at 12:00. The team will also be recognized during half-time of the game between ICC and Cowley Community College later that evening.

For information about attending the Hall of Fame luncheon, or the ceremonies at the game, contact Cherie Stockton at 620.331.5481, or visit indycc.edu for details.