BOONE: History of Waveland Basketball: The Greve family and more
June 12, 2019
Two other Hornets who played with Harbison and were outstanding were Daryel Newell and Bill Wheeler. Newell was a classmate of Bob Harbison graduating in 1953. He played on five championship teams as the Hornets won the County and sectional in 1951, the sectional in 1952 and the County and sectional in 1953. Bill Wheeler was only 5’11” tall but he had the smoothest moves in the pivot of anyone I ever saw or played against. He was a deadly scorer from 15 feet on in. Wheeler played on four championship teams as he was prominent on the 1951 and 1952 county champs and the 1951 and 1952 sectional champs. He ended up third on the career scoring list with 1,065 points. He is seventh on the single season list with 481 points in his junior year and had a high game of 33 points against Crawfordsville in his senior season.
Waveland won the basketball sectional in 1952. FRONT ROW: Bill Greve, Bill Wheeler, Ray Spencer, Robert Harbison, Richard Smith, Daryel Newell. SECOND ROW: Thurman Henderson, Student Mgr; Gen Handley, Dave Grimes, Dale Mitchell, Blaine Tracy Bill Redden, Student Mgr. THIRD ROW: Coach Hannah
Keith Greve was followed by little brother Bill (he and Ray were the tallest of the four brothers. Bill was 6’4”’ and Ray was 6’5”) Bill led the Hornets to a sectional championship in 1952 and helped win the rare double of county and sectional in 1952-53. Bill played for four different coaches in his career including the legendary Cliff Davis then Jim Hannah, William “Doc” Bolton, and Jerry Huntsman. He finished up his career at Waveland by leading the Hornets to their fourth and final county crown in 1955. The County schools ran into the Athenian buzz-saw in 1955 as Jerry DeWitt led the Athenians to the semi-state that year. Keith took his basketball talents to Butler after graduation and had a sparkling career; he was a four–year starter for the legendary coach Tony Hinkle. Keith Greve was elected to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001. His bio reads as follows:
“Keith Greve…Three year starter for Waveland…leading scorer and MVP junior and senior years… four year starter for Hall of Famer Tony Hinkle…leading scorer sophomore and junior years…MVP 1953…all Indiana Collegiate Conference First Team three times…received Hilton U. Brown Mental Attitude award senior year…All Decade team 1950’s…inducted into Butler Athletic Hall of Fame 1999…Head coach for 15 years at New Ross, Danville and Greensburg, then Athletic Director at Greensburg for 27 years.”
Anyone who has ever played a team sport understands that there is always a “game within the game.” It occurs when the clock is dead at a free throw, jump ball etc., in basketball, a penalty or other dead ball in football or the pitcher-catcher conference on the mound in baseball. You get the picture, right? The funniest “game within the game,” that I ever heard came when Waveland was playing Montezuma in the 1953 regional. Montezuma had a player, Vic Edwards, who was a very good player and also very religious. He would kneel and have a short, personal prayer before shooting a free throw or at a jump. During one of those times, Bob Harbison sidled up to Bill Greve and told him, “Bill, you are going to have to pray also to cancel out his prayers.” Sixty-five years later, Bill still remembers the event with a smile.
Bill Greve went to Purdue after graduation and had a great career in the Big Ten. During his four years on the varsity, the Boilermakers under Ray Eddy had a record of 60-28 and twice finished second in the conference. Bill played with Purdue legends Joe Sexson, Denny Blind, Wilson (Jake) Eison, Willie Merriweather, and Harvey Austin. After graduating from Purdue, Bill worked for Central Soya, Standard Oil of Indiana, and Upjohn before starting a string of Jimmy-John restaurants in the Midwest. He now lives at Indianapolis on Lockerbie Square.
Bill was voted the Outstanding Senior Athlete for Montgomery County in 1955. All four Greve brothers were inducted into the Montgomery County Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004 providing a fitting ending to the Greve legacy in the southern part of the county.
Bill Boone is a local sports historian who contributes to the Journal Review.