Friday, March 17, 2006

Retired De Paul Basketball Hero Coach Ray Meyer Has Died At Age 92.

It’s with a heavy heart I write this story. It’s my tribute to a personal hero.

The last time I spoke with Ray Meyer was in 1955. I was a first grader and was attending his wonderful basketball summer camp in Wisconsin.

The reason I was at his live-in summer camp was so my mother could hide me from my father who she hated and divorced. My mother paid a small deposit and never paid the tuition for the camp. Yes my mother stiffed Ray for the balance due.

Ray Meyer still treated me like a young visiting prince. When a construction crew working at the camp left a tar vat unattended. A couple of us boys soon got into a tar fight. This kind and understanding father figure cleaned us off carefully with gasoline, and then he hosed us down. He laughed and had one of his daughters take our pictures during the clean up.

Canoe trips, horseback riding, overnight camping, watching old black and white serial films, great food and of course basketball made this something I never forgot. More than that, I will never forget, Ray Meyer, his family and their kindness that made a huge impression on me.

It was always easy for me to understand why Ray Meyer was one of the best coaches ever in sports.

Ray, I have no doubt that you’re in heaven tonight. Thank you Ray!

Ray Meyers Boys Camp is closed today but it was located at 1019 Reed Rd Three Lakes, WI 54562

See the WBBM-TV report here.

No comments: