Friday, March 15, 2013

Wayne Estes: Greatest Aggie Basketballer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4wEbKTBfwE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZK6j-kCmAM&NR=1&feature=endscreen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=Qx769zYAtdY&feature=endscreen
Wayne Estes is the best basketball player in USU history.  In 1965 he was second in the nation in scoring behind Rick Berry.  He averaged 33.7 points per game that year, and 26.7 for his career.  He also was a prolific rebounder at 6'6".  He averaged 13.7 his senior year and 11.9 for his career.  He is still second all time in points, and third in rebounds for Utah State.  This was in less than three years.  (At the time freshmen did not play varsity ball.)  He was destined for greatness in the NBA.



I remember hearing stories of how he practiced and practiced.  A  best friend would throw him the ball over and over as he practiced his shot.
However an accident and a downed power line cut his life short. He scored 48 points, but complained of numb fingers on February 8, 1965.  There was an accident and he and friends went to see if they could help.  A live wire which was dangling as a result of the accident, struck him in the forehead and killed him instantly.
So his memory includes a lot of what ifs.  Reportedly the Lakers wanted to draft him in the first round.

6 comments:

  1. He was my hero at the time. I was 11 years old, and I was in the locker room getting Waynes autograph the night he got killed after the Denver pioneer's game in Logan at the old fieldhouse. Every shot I practiced in basketball I tried to emulate Wayne Estes, especially his 15 foot hook shot. The only person I have seen since Estes that could shoot a hook shot was Karem Abdul Jabar. Estes still shot a better percentage. I met Waynes brother Ron at Georgetown Lake Montana one summer while fishing the Lake. We had a good visit! Ron was my age when his brother died. Ron was granite High Schools Biology teacher and basketball coach in the town of Philipsburg,Montana.

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  2. Carolyn Watterson: Seemed Everybody in the valley loved Wayne Estes, couldn't wait to watch the games...

    Mark Grant: Estes was kids in the valley ages 10 to 18 hero. He was everybody's hero really, no matter of age. I was 11 when he was killed. It was such a sad day in the valley. I shall never forget it.

    Saunie Halverson: The Legend Of Wayne Estes. A tragedy still felt by residents in the valley today. What a great person and athlete.

    Lynn R Myers: He was more than great , Awesome!

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  3. Richard Elliott: ...only posthumous all american ever - first time. All American team had six member that year. From Anaconda, Montana.

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  4. Blane Roskelley: I remember the sad news when I learned of his passing after the selfless act of compassion he exuded for someone in danger. I was in high school at the time.

    Chris Cram: Wayne Estes

    Richard Medsker: I was attending USU at the time. A good friend was the driver of the car that hit the light pole. He came to my home devasted at what had happened.

    Brent Walker: I watched his last incredible game. So sad!

    Gaye Comish Gunnell: He was a great man and basketball player. Was so tragic!

    Bill Hicks: I remember the night it happened. hit that powerline after the game. a shorter person could have avoided it, but he was trying to help the people inside the car.

    Marianne Clay Lanuti: I was at that game as well and remember the crowd cheering. The next day I heard the news. I will never forget

    Craig Mortensen: i HAD FRONT ROW SEATS AT EVERY HOME GAME HE PLAYED, INCLUDING HIS LAST. ON THE WAY HOME WE DROVE PAST THE ACCIDENT SCENEN WHERE HE WAS LATER KILLED.

    David Buist: Without an
    Doubt the gratest!!!!

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  5. Debra Johnson I remember well the evening when he was killed by a power line, if I remember right. Such a sad day for Aggie fans.

    Amy Broberg Denson
    Amy Broberg Denson My dad used to always talk about him. He really did think he was great and I am sure when he died my dad was really sad

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  6. Diane Peterson I remember the accident too

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