Local News

Morristown standout Jerry Bass to be inducted into Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame

The 2022 induction class into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame will include Morristown standout Jerry Bass.

The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors announced the 17-member induction class today that will be honored on March 23, 2022.

Bass (photo), a 1958 graduate of Morristown High School, will be inducted posthumously. He died in 2009.

Joining Bass in the New Castle-based Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame will be 1960 Rockport graduate Wayne Boultinghouse, 1970 East Chicago Roosevelt graduate Napoleon Bradford, 1959 Connersville graduate Al Brown, 1965 Pierceton graduate Garth Cone, 1963 Oakland City graduate Gary Duncan, 1991 Noblesville graduate Tony Etchison, 1965 Washington graduate Jerry Flake, 1979 Muncie Central graduate Ray McCallum, 1964 Northwestern graduate Gary Merrell, 1975 Hamilton Heights graduate Doug Mitchell, 1983 Washington graduate Craig Neal, 1989 Delta graduate Matt Painter, 1960 Indianapolis Wood graduate Bill Smith Sr., 1926 Owensville graduate James Strickland, 1946 East Chicago Washington graduate Clarence Walker and 1982 Indianapolis Washington graduate John Sherman Williams.

The 2022 Silver Medal Award will be presented to Mark Baltz.

Bass was the state’s leading scorer in 1958 and an Indiana All-Star before playing at Indiana University. He set the Morristown High School career scoring record at 1,652 points after averaging a state-best 30.1 points per game as a senior.

Playing at IU under coach Branch McCracken, he totaled 632 points in 68 career games, including averaging 11.9 ppg as a senior in 1961-62.

Bass is currently fourth on Morristown’s career scoring list behind Hayden Langkabel (2,186 points), Brady Adkins (2,112 points) and Dylan Langkabel (2,072 points). He was the first Yellow Jacket to surpass 1,000 career points.

Bass helped Morristown win the 1957 Rushville Sectional and he was the 1958 Shelby County Tournament Most Valuable Player. Bass also qualified for the 1957 state track and field championships in the pole vault, where he finished third.

One of the more notable inductees for the Class of 2022 is current Purdue University men’s basketball coach Matt Painter. In his 17th season in West Lafayette, Painter’s Boilermakers have five Sweet 16 appearances, 12 NCAA Tournament berths, three Big Ten regular-season championships and a Big Ten Tournament title.

Purdue is currently ranked No. 2 in the country.

Painter is a 1994 graduate of Purdue and remains among the program leaders in career assists. His prep career at Delta High School included school records in career scoring (1,497 points) and assists.

As a senior, he set Delta’s record for single-season scoring, averaging 27.7 ppg along with 9.6 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game, leading the Eagles to a 21-4 record, a sectional championship and a selection as a 1989 Indiana All-Star.

Mark Baltz is the recipient of the 2022 Silver Medal Award for contributions to Indiana basketball other than as an Indiana high school player or Indiana high school coach. Officiating Indiana high school basketball for 43 years and a sports official for 50 years, he worked Indiana high school basketball game from 1971-2013.

Baltz was the 2005 recipient of the IHSAA & NFOA Basketball Official of the Year recognition, the 2011 recipient of the IBCA Roy Gardner Award and 2013 recipient of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Center Circle Officials Award. He worked 36 sectionals, 26 regionals, six semistates and three boys basketball state finals.

The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s 60th Men’s Award Banquet on March 23 begins with a reception at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame museum in New Castle and ends with a banquet that night at the Primo Banquet Hall in Indianapolis.

For more information on the induction class or how to reserve tickets for the banquet, go to www.hoopshall.com.