Wonders need local honors

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It has been more than 70 years since a group of small-town boys from Waterloo took the state by storm and showed that basketball wasn’t just for big-city schools.

The Wonders, the basketball team from tiny little Waterloo High School outside of Ironton, won the 1934 and 1935 Class B state basketball championships, playing a style of hoops that was years ahead of its time.

The team has earned statewide recognition in recent years by being inducted into the Ohio Hoops Zone Hall of Fame. Now, they are the subject of a documentary created by WOUB radio-television that will showcase the team’s impact and honor its legacy.

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Sadly, very little has been done to memorialize the Wonders here in southern Ohio.

That must change now.

Lawrence County officials, basketball fans, history buffs and the organizations that focus on promoting tourism need to look at a way to create a museum, monument, park or some other recognition that will ensure that the this team of athletes is never forgotten.

Apart from a mural at Center Street Landing, there is very little to honor these young men and their accomplishments.

It would be terrific if a basketball court and park could be built in the Waterloo area that would forever serve as a reminder of who these men were.

Or, someone could look at establishing a southern Ohio sports museum recognizing all the areas outstanding athletes from over the years. The Wonders would be a perfect anchor

for a project like this.

Who knows, maybe their story could one day become a movie like “We are Marshall.”

Lawrence County has a proud, storied past and the Wonders are a key part of that. We must make sure their efforts and accomplishments are not forgotten by future generations.