By Ralphine Major
For a small, rural Knox County school, Bob Dagley’s roster for the 1964-65 Gibbs Eagles’ basketball team was loaded with talent. While the starters may have led the way for the Eagles, Dagley is quick to praise the efforts of those super subs who could step in at crucial times when the coach called on them and continue with the Eagles’ winning ways!
The late Steve Wilson, a junior, was one of those super subs. The former coach remembers Wilson, the player who wore No. 22. “Steve got a lot of playing time because he was a long-range shooter from his guard position,” Dagley said. “He had a high arching shot that would turn the net inside out when he hit one.” As I try to visualize that high arching shot Dagley describes, I can almost hear the roar of Eagles’ fans! “Wilson was very accurate for a long-range set shooter,” Dagley added.
Sadly, Steve passed away at age 36. I never met him. But, I know his brother, Sam Wilson. Sam also graduated from Gibbs High School in the same class as my brother. During some of the years my brother and I went to Gibbs, our mother worked at the East Tennessee Chest Disease Hospital. The state-run hospital closed many years ago, and Hillcrest Healthcare now occupies the beautiful hilltop location. Wilson’s mother, Sue, also worked at the Chest Disease Hospital. Our mother and Sue often ate lunch together in the hospital’s cafeteria. Mother said the picture of Steve reminds her of Sue. Though Steve is no longer with us, we will hear from his children in a future column.