March 19th, 2006

Coach Ray Meyer: Rest in Peace

I was at theFarm when I read that Ray Meyer passed away the other day.  Most of my Portland friends will not know who he is…I mentioned him in the George Mikan post a year or so ago (thanks for reminding me Moreth).

Memories of Ray Meyer
Growing up in Chicago, he was the legendary coach of the Depaul Blue Demons.  As a little shit, I always cheered for those Blue Demon teams of Aguirre, Cummings, and Comegys.  I remember his being a super friendly coach and I was proud that a modern day legend was representing Chicago is such a fine way.

Ray Meyer BasketBall Camp
Moreth and I trucked up to Northern Wisconsin one summer for this basketball camp.  Ray Meyer, and his son Joey (he was the coach at the time) as well and a bunch of other folks were up there running us through drills etc for a whole week. 

Coach Meyer would always focus on fundamentals.  I remember this little move that he taught everyone.  He told the story of how Jack Sikma parlayed this move into a 15 NBA career.  I remember his saying, anyone can learn how to hit a set shot/jump shot.  He said if you practiced enough, you could be totally un athletic, but get a scholarship to college because of a set shot or jump shot and he told story after story about un athletic kids who did.  Simply because they could shot a basketball.

Moreth was fortunate enough to play ball under Ray Meyer’s son, Tom Meyer at Niles West from 87-91.  So Moreth has even more memories of Northern Wisconsin and the Meyer family.  We should reminicnce about those soon.

Anyway, good on you Ray.  I can imagine the positive influence over so many kids and so many years will always be remembered.  Cheers to Ray and his family. 

4 Responses to “Coach Ray Meyer: Rest in Peace”

  1. Brian Moreth says:

    Nicely said Keener. Ray’s camp was an awesome experience for all of us. One funny story…as we all know Sean and how he likes to ‘push the envelope’…well this camp was situated on a lake in northern Wisconsin. We went out on a canoe one of the sunny afternoons (I believe it was Sean, Shawn McGovern (was he there?) and I).

    Well, Keener thought it was a good idea to see how violently we could rock the canoe. Of course the thing flipped and dumped us in the lake, and Sean was laughing the whole time. The best part was the canoe actually sunk and Sean and I literally tugged the boat back to shore by holding on to it while it was submerged (which was no problem for the super-stud swimmer Keener). I think McGovern doggie paddled next to us.

    Seriously, Ray was an amazing man and coach. Playing for his son, gave me a glimpse of how much basketball knowledge that family had. Coach Tom once told a smart-ass player of ours during practice that he had more basketball knowledge on the tip of his pinky than that kid had in his entire head. Looking back, he was probably right. If we would simply shut our mouths, listen and run the plays correctly, we’d score every time.

    Thanks to all the Meyer coaches for influencing us kids, especially in Chicago. Ray, RIP.

  2. Mary says:

    What great memories! Thanks for sharing, Sean and Brian.

  3. Liz says:

    Sean, I remember watching Brian play at a couple of Niles West games. At the time I didn’t realize who Moreth’s coach “belonged” to. Very cool. Great stories! Awesome memories. I like how Moreth said even as young kid you loved to push the envelope. My oldest son, Luke, LOVES to do the same. As a parent, that can really try your patience at times. It’s a good reminder that some “children” (of all ages) are so tickled and amazed by life and the world around them.

  4. Mcgovern says:

    You know I am a UIC guy, but its hard not to admire a man like Ray Meyer. A hall of fame coach, who made Depaul a national power. They will be lucky if they ever have a coach like him again. By the way I was at that camp with you guys, and I have never done a doggie paddle. Remember when Joey Meyer made us do sprints at midnight because our cabin was to loud.

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