Former Tiger Maile To Be Inducted Into Louisiana Hall Of Fame
Note: This is the first in a series of four articles on this year’s inductees into the Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame and the LABC’s Mr. Louisiana Basketball award recipient. The 2005 inductees will be former LSU All-American Dick Maile and former coaches Bobby Paschal of UL-Lafayette and Dale Brown of LSU. Mr. Louisiana Basketball for 2005 is Southern Lab High School coach Joel Hawkins.
By: Sam King
Former Baton Rouge State-Times & Advocate Sports Editor
Written for the LABC
BATON ROUGE — Playing basketball for LSU provided many great memories for former Tigers.
However, 40 years after he finished his illustrious career at LSU, Dick Maile emphasizes, “One of the greatest thrills I had was just getting to visit LSU.”
Maile, a standout prep star in Kentucky, not only visited LSU, but returned to play (1963-65) and provide thrill after thrill for Tiger fans in the John M. Parker Ag Coliseum.
Maile led LSU in scoring and rebounding for three consecutive seasons, became a two-time first team All-Southeastern Conference selection and was named to the Look Magazine All-America team in 1965.
He became, at that time, LSU’s third-leading career scorer (1,284 points, 17.4 ppg.) and rebounder (722, 10.4 rpg.).
Freshmen were not eligible to play on the varsity level and LSU had no freshman team when Maile arrived in Baton Rouge. He played that season as a member of the Baton Rouge Hawks, an independent team that traveled throughout Louisiana and Mississippi playing against many former college stars.
Maile averaged 14.0 and 11.0 in 1963 as a sophomore. As a junior he averaged 20.7 points and 10.5 rebounds. Drawing special defenses and close attention as a senior, Maile, a 6-5 forward, averaged 17.2 points and 9.8 rebounds. He was then named to the Look Magazine All-America team as well as being a National Association of Basketball Coaches third-team All-District selection.
Maile will be among the inductees into the Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame on May 7, along with former coaches Dale Brown of LSU and Bobby Paschal of UL-Lafayette.
“Truthfully, I was completely shocked when Scott Landry (executive secretary of the LABC) called me and told me I had been selected,” said Maile in a telephone interview from his home in northern Kentucky.
“I am very honored. It is not one of those things that you think much about,” said Maile.
Maile is already a three-time prep Hall of Famer, at Covington Catholic High School, where he played and later coached, at Notre Dame Academy, where he coached and in the Northern Kentucky Athletic Directors Hall of Fame.
Maile said he was particularly thrilled to be bound to LSU because, “Bob Pettit was certainly my idol. I loved to watch the (St. Louis) Hawks and when I got a chance just to visit LSU, it was a tremendous thrill.”
He and Pettit hit it off well.
“Bob did Tip-Off Clubs in the spring and would bring all the Hawks in. Then I worked with him. It was a real highlight,” said Maile.”
Maile said it was a great joy to compete in the SEC.
“We did some traveling and Coach (Jay) McCreary always played an excellent schedule, visiting Portland (Ore.), Blacksburg (Va.), Miami, among other places.”
Maile was a very accurate shooter, who seemed to be even more deadly from his favorite corner.
“Most of my shots were on the left side of the court, coming off screens,” said Maile, who notched the winning bucket in three or four games in his Tiger career. “I would come off screens and if they overplayed, I would go underneath. If they under played me, I would pop out and shoot.”
“Sam Chase was one of our guards for a couple of years and was especially good at getting me the ball.”
Former teammate Brad Brian, a sophomore in Maile’s senior year, recalled Maile as being “very knowledgeable of the game, a hard worker and a genuine human being.”
“Dick took me under his wing when I was a sophomore and we became very good friends,” said Brian. “We spent a lot of time together playing basketball. I probably learned as much from him as I did any coach.”
“Aside from basketball, Dick is a genuine human being. I learned a lot about life. He’s very religious. A family man.”
Brian said Maile reminded him a lot of Pettit “in his stature as a man and his ability as a player.”
“He had to work hard to get his skills to the level they attained. He did a heck of a job,” said Brian. “He couldn’t jump high, but he could always get a rebound. He always got position. He wasn’t very quick and didn’t handle the ball well, but he knew how to get open and get the shot off.”
“I’m tickled to death he’s getting this award,” said Brian, who will present Maile for the induction.
Another former Tiger, Maury Drummond, said Maile was “one of the best jump shooters he had seen.”
“He reminded me a lot of Cotton Nash. He kind of flowed like him. He really played a lot like Cotton,” said Drummond. “I only played one year, Dick’s sophomore season, with him, but he was really good.”
“In practices when he was a freshman, you could see he was going to be a special player. Ellis Cooper, the only other senior on the team with me, and I watched him work and knew he was going to be a good one. He could really shoot. It was like the ball had eyes for the basket.”
“Dick was very even-tempered, very business-like. He couldn’t jump high, but always had position, did a good job on the glass and very fundamentally sound,” said Drummond. “He was fun to play with and was a really good player.”
Drummond said he was happy and pleased for Maile to get the honor, “an award which he is very deserving.”
Maile recalled the team being best in his junior year, finishing with an 8-6 mark in the SEC, only a game out of second place.
“We lost some heart-breakers on last second shots two nights in a row,” he said. “We lost to Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt, when Clyde Lee tipped one in at the buzzer.”
Maile recalled two of his personal thrills.
“One was in my junior year, the only time we got to play in Lexington against Kentucky. Cotton Nash and I were going head-to-head for the (individual scoring) championship. I only got to play in Kentucky once, but it was really exciting,” said Maile, who finished behind Nash’s 24.0 average. “We always listened to the broadcasts of the UK games. It was an honor to play in Lexington.”
“In my senior year, we played in the All-College Tournament at Oklahoma City. We drew Xavier, which is located in (nearby) Cincinnati. I scored my high, 38 points, although we lost,” said Maile. “The next game we played Rice and they played a box and one on me. I only scored about 10, but we won.”
Maile said he was proud to be associated with and play for Coach McCreary and still sings praises of the late LSU coach.
“He and his wife Mary had us at their house for Thanksgiving when everyone else would leave out of school. I walked around in the living room looking and it was unbelievable the things about him in the book case and all those scrap books.”
“I think he is still the only person from Indiana to play on a state high school championship team, play on a national championship team at Indiana and then win a state championship (at Muncie Central) when he started coaching.”
Following his senior season at LSU, Maile was drafted by the NBA’s Cincinnati Royals in the 11th round. However, they wanted him to swap to a guard position.
“I worked hard all summer, but I just wasn’t quick enough. I never was a good ball handler,” he said. “I went to the rookie camps where all draft picks had to attend, but I couldn’t make it.”
“Bob Pettit offered to try and get me on with the Hawks, but my wife was pregnant with our first child and I said it was time to go to work.”
And, work, he has, first with his father, then by himself and now with his son, in the construction business started by his dad – as well as coaching. He has been an assistant coach or head coach every season since his playing days. He was the head high school coach in 11 of those seasons at Beechwood High School (1 year), Covington Catholic (4 years) and Notre Dame Academy (6 years). He is presently the varsity assistant coach for one of his former players at Covington Catholic and works in sales for his family’s remodeling business.
Maile has been married for 40 years to Marian Tekulve (a cousin of former Pittsburgh Pirate pitcher Kent Tekulve). They have three children, Richard, Lisa Marie and Amy Lyn, and 11 grandchildren.
“Let me tell you,” added Maile, “My grandson, Luke, is a pretty good baseball player and he’s dreaming about playing baseball at LSU. We’ve been wanting to go, but all the games are sold out. I hope to get some tickets the weekend of the induction when they play Kentucky.”
The Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame, which is located in LSU’s Pete Maravich Assembly Center, is sponsored by the Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches (LABC). The Hall of Fame was created in 1975 to honor former great basketball players and coaches from Louisiana colleges. You can learn more about the LABC and the Hall of Fame by visiting their website at www.labball.com.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will be held in conjunction with the LABC’s 31st Annual Awards Banquet. The awards banquet, sponsored by SportsCare, will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Baton Rouge on Saturday, May 7, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
In addition to the induction of the new Hall of Fame members, the banquet will include recognition of Louisiana’s major college, small college, junior college and high school players and coaches of the year, the top pro player from the state, and the presentation of the prestigious Mr. Louisiana Basketball award to Southern Lab High School coach Joel Hawkins.
Tickets for the banquet are $15 and can be obtained by contacting Scott Landry at (225) 205-8594. The Embassy Suites Hotel is located at 4914 Constitution Avenue in Baton Rouge (College Drive exit off of Interstate 10).