Terry Dischinger

Mikan, Pettit, Celtics dynasty, Wilt, and early expansion

Terry Dischinger

Postby rlee » Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:02 pm

Some Straight Shooting

By Cliff Newell

Terry Dischinger could really shoot the basketball.

So it really frustrates him when he sees how players shoot the basketball today.

“So many players do it wrong,” said Dischinger, today a nationally renowned orthodontist who lives in Lake Oswego. “Even the pros don’t have the proper fundamentals. It’s like any other sport. If your fundamentals are sound, you’re more consistent.

“The fun of basketball is putting the ball in the basket.”

Terry Dischinger has had lots of fun in his career: A member of the legendary 1960 USA Olympic basketball team, three-time All-American at Purdue University, former all-time Big Ten scoring champion, NBA Rookie of the Year with the Chicago Zephyrs, three-time NBA All-Star.

The Terre Haute flash is a genuine Indiana basketball legend who even nearly 50 years after his heyday still gets named to various halls of fame and all-time best lists.

But Dischinger is not done with basketball. That is why he and Dave Cook founded the Upward Basketball youth league at Mountain Park Church of Lake Oswego.

The league for players from kindergarten through sixth grade had a great first season in 2008 with 140 players signing up, then saw the league roster nearly double this year with 270 players.

That is because Upward Basketball doesn’t merely send the kids out on the gym floor and throw them a basketball. Instead, they are carefully nurtured in the skills of the game and given every chance for success.

“They can get a lot of joy out of a program like this, because that is what Jesus wants,” Dischinger said.

Most youth basketball league games resemble a free-for-all, with kids scrambling about from one end of the gym to the other, with stealing the basketball away by far the most dominant feature.

“It’s just chaos,” Dischinger said.

Not in Upward Basketball.

“This league actually lets players learn skills,” Dischinger said. “There is no double teaming or stealing the ball allowed. You can’t belly up on defense and you’ve got to give the player some room. There’s no pressing, either. That means these children very seldom foul and that allows them to develop offensive skills. Defensive skills, too.”

Naturally, the “fun” skill of shooting is what the kids like to learn the most. First of all, the rims are lowered in Upward Basketball to accommodate the little kids. Instead of futilely heaving the ball at the regular 10-foot high hoop, a kindergartener gets to shoot at a basket that is a foot or two lower.

But the biggest thing is they learn how to shoot the ball. Dischinger has been coaching the league coaches on how they can teach just that.

“I really studied shooting as a player,” Dischinger said.

Oddly enough, nobody ever taught him how to shoot a basketball.

“I watched good shooters,” Dischinger said. “When I went to college games I would watch the best shooter. I grew up in Indiana, where basketball is what they lived for. In basketball season I always shot the ball a lot and always stayed to shoot after practice.

“Sometimes I practiced on a rim that was three inches smaller in circumference, and that really made me learn to concentrate and arch the ball just right. I also played a lot of one-on-one, which kids miss today. That’s where you really learn how to play the game.”

Dischinger even watched the most legendary shot in Indiana basketball history – Bobby Plump’s game-winning basket that gave tiny Milan High School the 1954 state championship.

“I was lined up right behind him,” Dischinger said. “When Bobby shot the ball, I said to myself, ‘That’s in!’”

While growing up in his hometown of Terre Haute in the late 1950s, Dischinger played four sports, all with great success. If he was coming up today, Dischinger acknowledges that a player of his caliber would be playing for traveling all-star teams for shoe companies.

“When you play several sports it develops your body fully,” Dischinger said. “You’re not beating up on the same muscles and joints all the time. Plus you don’t get tired of the game.”

With Upward Basketball, Dischinger says every player is an all-star. Every player gets a piece of the spotlight.

“It’s sad, but by high school 90 percent of kids don’t participate in basketball any more,” Dischinger said.

“Upward Basketball wants to allow kids to succeed and keep playing. Because it’s fun.”
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Postby Jerry11 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:04 am

Dischinger was a terrific player who could really shoot it. His NBA career was somewhat interrupted as I recall. He could have easily have had twice as many all-star games. He was that good.
Clyde Lovellette, I've read, had some to do with his development. If so, a good story there.

Personally, I think the ' talent pool ' issue has more to do with the NBA money and the way it has warped the sport in the past 20 years.
In the 60s and 70s, players were more developed and more mature as rookies than they are now. Plus, the entertainment nature of the game has gotten away from the game itself. Small wonder that hungrier talents can come here, play the right game versus what we do, and be successful.
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Postby rlee » Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:54 am

Dischinger & Lovellette each attended Terre Haute Garfield h.s. - classes of '58 & '49

Terry's Dad was the team's coach for both.
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' Cowboy ' Edwards

Postby Jerry11 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:33 pm

Since Edward's name has come up, he played at Kentucky and then for the Oshkosh All-Stars, yes ? Edwards might be the all-time NBL star.
Is he in the Hall ? If not, he surely should be.
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Postby DeeMack » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:37 pm

Clyde Lovellette graduated from High School in 1948. In 1947, Lovellette's junior year, Terre Haute Garfield, lost in the state finals to Shelbyville. It was Garfield's only loss that year.

Willard Kehrt was the head coach. Donas Dischinger, Terry's father, was the assistant coach.

Donas Dischinger was the head BB & FB coach. Clyde was a member of both those teams. Terry Dischinger also played FB at Garfield. By that time his father, still an assistant basketball coach, was no longer head FB coach, but an asssistant.

There may be a connection between the Garfield coaches and Mr. Bayh. Just as likely, probably more likely, the Garfield coaching staff would have had a connection to John Wooden-- Indiana State Coach 1946-48.

Willard Kehrt and Donas Dischinger may have attended Indiana University at the same time and may have been teammates on the IU basketball team.
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Postby Matthew Maurer » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:00 pm

Keith Ellis wrote:Dischinger's point -- that the US talent pool has shrunken -- is sound. Ironically, the more big-money interest takes over, the smaller the player pool becomes. In Dischinger's Indiana we've seen the same phenomenon emerge w/ the advent of big-money in frozen poultry production. Whereas once we grew our own fowl & everybody could adroitly process them, now our "shallow pool" necessitates the importation of foreign (not-so-coincidentally cheaper) labour as profits soar unabated.


Actually that is a strange notion to speak when America prospects keep improving . Look at all the NBA superstars: how many come from America. How many of them have developed at Division I american colleges. Lastly as an NBA Draft scout the foriegn market has dried considerably. At current projection, only 2 foreign players projects in the first round. In the second round it gets a little better as 4 have projected. That gives a total of 6 players in the draft for a 7% share on the NBA draft market. While America has a 93% share on the market. Hardly a killer on any level.
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