How many people live next door to a person who started in an NCAA Final Basketball game? Ted Hayes does.
Jerry Johnson will be Ted’s guest this Friday on “Ted Hayes Remembers”.
Back in 1969, the Purdue Boilermakers, winners of the Big 10 Conference, were seeded into the NCAA tournament. Although they were not expected to win, the Boilers ended up in the final game against John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins.
Jerry will talk about that game later in the week, but today Ted asked the 6-10 center about being recruited, and ending up at Purdue.
“I had a lot of offers and they normally let the coach know if they were coming to watch,” explained Johnson. “We had a lot of people come to different games my Senior year and my Junior year to see what I might look like. My Senior year I signed a letter of intent to Kansas State. I was going to go there and then toward the end of the recruiting season, Purdue showed up and offered me a full ride and it was absolutely cup of tea to be able to play in the Big 10 and to be so close to home so my Mom and my friends could come and see the games.”
Jerry was asked about traveling with Purdue.
“We had Purdue airlines and they had the old DC-3s and they they flew most of the Big 10 schools all around to the different games. We always had them at our beck and call. Even when we bussed to Bloomington or to Champagne or to Northwestern, it was a first class ride. Wherever we stayed was in a first class hotel whenever they were available.”
Jerry played at Pauley Pavilion in L.A. and holiday tournaments in Arizona and Hawaii. As a matter of fact, Jerry tried his hand at surfing at Waikiki Beach.
“We were in first class hotels right on Waikiki Beach and we were not supposed to surf because we didn’t need scratches and nicks from the coral, but we took turns watching for the coaches and snuck out to do a little bit and see if we could try our hand at it.”
Jerry will be Ted’s guest on “Ted Hayes Remembers” this Friday at 12:20 p.m. and again at 5:30 p.m.