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Highlights - Page 4
Years of Yeomen Basketball
by Mike McIntyre
celebrates its 100th year of basketball with the satisfaction of
knowing it has produced hundreds of excellent scholar-athletes whose
educational experiences were enriched by competing on the court.
historically the team has struggled, the Yeomen have had some excellent
seasons. With 15 wins and 3 losses, the 1949-50 season stands out
as one of the best. The 1975-76 trip to the NCAA regional semifinals
was another high point.
the strength of Oberlin's program is something more meaningful
to many than numbers on scoreboards or entries in record books.
The scholar-athlete tradition has been at the center of Oberlin's
program throughout its history, and it remains alive and well on
the Yeomen court today.
one exemplifies this tradition more than Ronald "Chip"
Winiarski '90, an Oberlin College Athletic Hall of Famer who
was perhaps the best player ever to wear an Oberlin uniform.
who played from 1986 to 1990, remains the Yeomen's all-time
leader in points scored (2,303), scoring average per game (22.6),
field goals attempted (1,923), free throws made (440), and free-throw
percentage (.816). In addition to his basketball accomplishments,
Winiarski was a star on the baseball diamond. After graduation he
played for six years in the minor leagues on teams affiliated with
the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox.
Winiarski's time at Oberlin, the basketball team had only
one winning season, 1987-88, when their record was 14-12. But it's
not about wins and losses, contends Winiarski, now manager of continuous
improvement for Applied Industrial Technologies in Cleveland. It's
about how the experience of playing adds so much to one's
overall college experience.
didn't go to Oberlin with the intention of playing pro basketball
or pro baseball. I wanted to prepare for the rest of my life,"says
Winiarski, who lives in Bay Village, Ohio.
"Sports teaches you disciplines that may carry over to other
parts of your lifeteamwork, perseverance, the ability to set
goals and achieve them. You need a healthy balance. It's the same
type of experience you might get in chemistry lab or at the Conservatory.
honestly don't remember the athletic achievements,"
Winiarski continues. "What I remember are the relationships
built on the court, in the locker rooms, and on bus rides. Nobody
cares about points scored in your career. What you remember are
the great experiences, the relationships with your teammates and
Oberlin roundballer from an earlier generation agrees.
"Dutch" Mytinger '38, also a member of the Oberlin
College Athletic Hall of Fame, says even in the days of the two-handed
set shot, Oberlin basketball was about relationships.
were very good friends, the entire team," says Mytinger, who
lives in Oberlin. "The people were nice. The fans were loyal.
We all had a good time."
has an interesting but little-known connection to basketball's
beginnings. When James Naismith invented the game in 1891 as an
indoor activity for students suffering through the harsh winters
at Springfield College, one of his collaborators was Luther Halsey
Gulick, a Springfield College employee who had studied at Oberlin.
such deep roots and with such strong bonds, the Yeomen basketball
program can look forward to its next 100 years with high hopes for
more competitive seasons.
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