Waterloo Wonders join Ohio Hoop Zone HOF
Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 29, 2006
Now basketball fans from around Ohio will know about the Waterloo Wonders for generations to come.
The Wonders 1934 and 1935 Class B state basketball championship teams were inducted into the Ohio Hoops Zone Hall of Fame on May 20, thus guaranteeing their immortality in Ohio basketball lore.
The Wonders famous starting five consisted of Wyman Roberts, Orlyn Roberts, Stewart Wiseman, Beryl Drummond and Curt McMahon.
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“My mom and I saw all their home games,” said former Wonder player Ralph Lunsford who later became principal at the old Waterloo Elementary. “The crowds used to fill the bleaches and then spill onto the floor.
“They were great ballhandlers. There was only one official and sometimes he’d lose the ball because of the way they passed it.”
Waterloo was coached by (the late) legendary Magellan Hairston who not only took the school to two state titles, but reached the state tournament in 1941 after just missing in 1940 when All-Ohio center Paul Roach was declared ineligible at the district tournament, the stop before reaching the state tournament during that time period.
Hairston won nearly 95 percent of his games and did not lose a home game in 11 years.
“He understood basketball,” said Lunsford, 83.
“(Hairston) knew how to stop the guy scoring and how to score. We had a lot of set plays. He taught you to be at a spot, and if you weren’t , you got in trouble, not the guy passing the ball.”
Wayne Wiseman, who coached at Springfield South, accepted the honor for the Wonders at the inaugural Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
Wiseman was honored as a member of the Rio Grande team that went 39-0 in 1953-54 and won the NAIA National Championship.