HAVING A BLAST: Representing the Indiana Pacers were (from left) Todd Taylor, Julie Siegler, Bill Benner and colorful Eddie White, who were playing alongside 1968 Carmel Mr. Basketball Billy Shepherd and Guerin Catholic varsity basketball coach Pete Smith/Photos: Mark Morrow.
HAVING A BLAST: Representing the Indiana Pacers were (from left) Todd Taylor, Julie Siegler, Bill Benner and colorful Eddie White, who were playing alongside 1968 Carmel Mr. Basketball Billy Shepherd and Guerin Catholic varsity basketball coach Pete Smith/Photos: Mark Morrow.
Many former Indiana high school and college basketball greats were there for the annual reunion of golf, camaraderie, reminiscing. . .and undoubtedly plenty of storytelling.

It was a "Who's Who' of celebrities driving, chipping and putting at the annual Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame golf scramble, sponsored by Ameriana on Monday at Pebble Brook GC.

It was simply a stroll down memory lane for many, something it's been down through the years, with the last five of 24 such get-togethers held at the Noblesville course.

Billy Shepherd, the 1968 Mr. Basketball from Carmel was there, trying to finesse putts much like he used to do jump shots and layups and soft, pinpoint passes.

A few other former Mr. Basketball recipients on the course included 87-year-old Jumpin' Johnny Wilson (Anderson) Rick Jones (Muncie Central, 1963), Kevin Ault (Warsaw, 1996), Lyndon Jones (Marion, co recipient with teammate Jay Edwards in 1987), Jason Gardner (North Central, 1999), as well as former Miss Basketball Katie Gearlds (Beech Grove, 2003). The oldest player on the course was Jim Powers Sr. (89), who played for the late, great John Wooden at South Bend Central.

(Gardner begins his first season as men's basketball coach at IUPUI, and Geralds was named Marian's women's coach in 2013.)

There were many other former Indiana All-Stars on the course, too, as well as former coaches such as Sam Alford (New Castle) and Bill Hahn (Michigan City Rogers) and Carl McNulty (Kokomo), along with current coaches Pete Smith (Guerin Catholic) and Bill Zych (Pike) and Steve Lynch (Brownsburg), to name a few.

Former college football All-American Leroy Keyes, a great running back and defensive back for the Boilermakers, was a rare football sighting as a member of the John Purdue Club team.

And even though Bobby "Slick' Leonard wasn't able to play golf, you just know he was right at home, soaking it all in.

And why wouldn't he be?

An Indiana Hall of Fame basketball inductee in 1982, "Slick' was among many other Hall of Fame recipients later in the day. And he had a little extra celebrity status as the featured speaker.

Leonard, a long-time color commentator for the Pacers' radio network, a position he still holds with the NBA team, led the Pacers to 3 championships when the red, white and blue basketball was so popular and pretty much the craze among young, aspiring hoopsters.

"Slick' played at Terre Haute Gertsmeyer way back when, and was a 2-time college All-American, and he captained Indiana University's 1953 NCAA championship team. Pretty fair credentials, for sure.

And the man who always has a funny story to tell (and he told tons of them at the dinner) and is revered by many in the world of basketball, will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame next month.

The game's highest honor.

And, yeah, certainly a most deserving honor for a Hoosier legend who has done so much for basketball.