You read our Rick Mount story in the IndyStar, and told me yours. And yours are better!
Here are some of the stories readers have shared since reading Thursday about my search for Mount, who broke scoring records at Lebanon High School and Purdue and remains in the conversation – nearly 40 years after he graduated high school – about the greatest shooters in basketball history.
Check the common themes about Mount, as a shooter and a man.
From: John Williamson
I was a counselor for four summers at Taylor’s camp, where he was the shooting coach. He worked tirelessly with kids to teach them proper shooting form on the black hot asphalt, and was very gracious with every counselor/coach he worked with. I later ran a basketball camp in Muncie, and kids two and three generations behind him were blown away to see a man bank that oversized basketball he used to sell from 3-point territory – over a dozen times in a row. I’d tell you it was 19 or something like that, and nobody who ever saw him shoot would be surprised. Seeing him miss one shot is more surprising than picking a number of shots you see him make in a row. And the thing of it is, he’s teaching as he shoots.
Doyel responds: One email, two themes. And the stories get better.
* * *
From: Dale Smith, Lebanon High, Class of 1974
On July 4, a lot of my classmates gathered to watch the parade. One is Dennis Beaman, who helped Rick with his shooting camps for 15-20 years. Dennis said they had a camp about 10 days ago in Lebanon, at Memory Hall where Rick played in high school. Denny said Rick was shooting 18-footers as he was speaking with the campers. Rick began by hitting 5-of-12, and Dennis was a little worried.
This simply showed Rick Mount is human, but just barely. He proceeded to hit the next 70 in a row.
Doyel: The Natural.
* * *
From: Brad Boyd
I grew up in Lebanon on Syracuse Drive. I remember going to Memorial Park and Rick was always willing to talk to and shoot with any rug rats like myself who came by. If there had been a 3-point line in his day, he would own all the records.
Doyel: He scored nearly 5,000 combined points in high school and college, all without a 3-point arc. I’m putting the over/under on his Lebanon and Purdue days, with the 3-pointer, at 3,000 points each.
* * *
DON’T MISS A COLUMN:Get the Doyel Direct app
From: Shawn Fury
I have a similar story. Last year I worked on a book called “Rise and Fire: The Origins, Science, and Evolution of the Jump Shot – And How It Transformed Basketball Forever.” I obviously wanted to talk to Mount. In June 2014 I was driving through Indiana to speak with some other people, and Mount had his camp at the same time. So I just showed up at it, in the old Lebanon gym. Sat in the stands, then went down after to talk to him. Introduced myself.
Rick didn’t have any time that day but he said to come by his house the next day. I did and spent three hours with him; he was as gracious as could be.
Doyel: Greatness comes in different forms.
* * *
From: Jason Depuy
I love this story. I wanted to share my story with you.
The summer of 1991 between my junior and senior years of high school, I was shooting at Memorial Park one Saturday morning and here comes Rick Mount to shoot on the other end. After about 10 or 15 minutes, a couple of older guys showed up. They were I guess feeling their oats and joking around with him about how he was getting old and couldn’t handle playing a game, and so on. Rick finally got tired of it and said, “Let’s play then.” He said, “I’ll take that kid down there and we’ll play 2-on-2 full court.”
He came down to my end, asked me my name and then said to me these exact words: “You just hang out under the basket and rebound and get me the ball.” The two guys we played were pretty good, so I was a little nervous not to let Rick down. When we got up like 16-4, I stopped being quite as nervous. Rick was unbelievable to watch.
The gentlemen we were playing decided they would double-team him and take their chances with me shooting layups. At first Rick would just shoot over their double team – and I think after he decided he had proved his point and shut their mouths, he started passing to me for those layups. I want to say we won that game 30-12.
When it was over Rick let them know just how bad it was. He then told me good game, and I thanked him, still walking on cloud nine. I’ve seen footage of him playing as a Tiger and Boiler and am always impressed, but that Saturday morning at the park I was truly in the presence of basketball greatness.
Doyel: What a story.
* * *
From: Jim Slaymon
Back when Larry Bird was still playing, he held a 3-point shootout and charity game at Market Square Arena. I don’t remember Mount participating in the shootout, but there were a lot of Indiana high school legends there. I’m in my 20s and see this “Old Guy” raining 3 after 3 from well outside the NBA line. I have no idea who he is, but my father-in-law tells me it’s Jimmy Rayl from Kokomo.
Doyel: If I had a nickel for every reader who emailed today about Jimmy Rayl … I’d have a lot of nickels. Thank you, all of you, for the notes. Made for some fun reading.