Ben Moffett's Friends

  • Mr. Potato Head
  • Julie Brokken
  • Brad Stephens
  • Debi Smith
  • Norio Hayakawa
  • Briana Rose Lucero
  • Dee Cohen
  • Tracey Dahl
  • Isabel Bearman Bucher
  • dai wilde
  • Kathleen "Kat" Wruck
  • Richard Read Oyama
  • Suzy Charnas
  • John Larson
  • Ariana Allen

Ben Moffett's Groups

 

NM, the per Capita Capital of Hoops

Profile Information

Where I Live:
South Valley (Valencia County)
About Me:
Lifelong New Mexican, except for 10 years spent in exile in Denver. Birthplace: San Antonio, NM. Education: San Antonio Grade School, Ernie Pyle Jr. High, Albuquerque High, Univ of NM. Employers: Albuq Journal / National Park Service / Free Lance Writer (current).
Favorite Thing(s) About Albuquerque:
All the sweet wonders of the vicinity -- Cissy King, Holly Holm, Aire Libre, Linda Beaver, Pinus Edulis, Marisa Maez, Cielito Lindo, Maria Benitez, Virginalis Clark, Chile Picante, Rojo O. Verde and all the poetry and poets on the Ditchrider's DCF blog.
What I'm Reading:
Books on basketball and New Mexico. Recommended list includes Be My Guest, by Conrad Hilton; Albuq Remembered, Howard Bryant; New Mexico Railroads,David F. Myrick; Navajos Wear Nikes, Jim Kristofic, Albuquerque: A City at the End of the World, V. B. Price; The Place Names of NM, Julyan; The Spell of NM, Tony Hillerman.

Latest Activity

Ben Moffett commented on The DitchRider's blog post The Sunday Poem: Birdie Jaworski... Timeloop Key
"If Birdie survived las calles de Santa Fe and Las Vegas, she need not worry about minefields, testosterone or dry gulches. Finding old casing is like stamp collecting, comparatively speaking. Still it takes some nerve to toss one's Panama…"
Jul 22, 2012
Ben Moffett liked The DitchRider's blog post The Sunday Poem: Birdie Jaworski... Timeloop Key
Jul 22, 2012
Ben Moffett replied to Leonard Poareo's discussion What you learn in college. Or, What? You learn in college?
"What a great piece of writing, Leonard. I agree with everything you put forth. I believe we go to college to get a perspective of the big picture, learn how things hang together. As an aside, I was happy to see the word "moco" in a place…"
Jun 17, 2012
Ben Moffett commented on Terry S. Davis's blog post Don't Be Gruel
"What you say is especially true if the extra curricular team efforts aren't limited to sports. Drama, band, science fair, debate competitions, essay contests, etc., are wonderful, and could get U.S. schools rolling again if they got their fair…"
Jun 17, 2012
Ben Moffett liked Terry S. Davis's blog post Don't Be Gruel
Jun 17, 2012
Ben Moffett commented on JeSais's blog post Lead/Coal Avenue Officially Opened
"Just as we learned all the shortcuts! "
Jun 17, 2012
Ben Moffett commented on Dee Cohen's blog post ABQ Pics: Ki-Motion
"great photo. I like the way is is cropped so you don't see its depth. It seems to bring out the key features that make it unique."
Jun 6, 2012
Ben Moffett liked The DitchRider's blog post The Sunday Poem: Two Poems by Susan Sherman
Jun 6, 2012
Ben Moffett liked Dee Cohen's blog post ABQ Pics: Ki-Motion
Jun 5, 2012
Ben Moffett liked The DitchRider's blog post The Sunday Poem: Two Poems by Susan Sherman
Jun 5, 2012
Ben Moffett liked The DitchRider's blog post The Sunday Poem: Brian Hendrickson... Turning between Two Skewed Horizons
May 27, 2012
Ben Moffett liked The DitchRider's blog post The Sunday Poem: Tanaya Winder... Ten Little Indians
May 25, 2012
Ben Moffett commented on Dee Cohen's blog post ABQ Pics: Creekside
"That's a good thing, Dee. Good for me, too. After 72 years, I still haven't seen nearly as much as I hoped to."
May 25, 2012
Ben Moffett commented on Dee Cohen's blog post ABQ Pics: Creekside
"When you get tired of the north valley, there are ops as far as Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge."
May 24, 2012
Ben Moffett liked Jeff Hartzer's blog post Eclipsed by the Moon - a poem of the day
May 22, 2012
Ben Moffett liked The DitchRider's blog post The Sunday Poem: Rich Boucher... Almost Lost: Walking the Old Tukishima Trail through Albuquerque
May 6, 2012
Ben Moffett commented on The DitchRider's blog post The Sunday Poem: Rich Boucher... Almost Lost: Walking the Old Tukishima Trail through Albuquerque
"I dig it, and a little more each of the three or four times, with flashlight and goggles in place, that I read it. I recognized most of the landmarks (or imagined I did) that I've explored since 1951 over my own particular version of the…"
May 6, 2012
Ben Moffett liked The DitchRider's blog post The Sunday Poem: Rich Boucher... Almost Lost: Walking the Old Tukishima Trail through Albuquerque
May 6, 2012
Ben Moffett liked The DitchRider's blog post The Sunday Poem: Rich Boucher... Almost Lost: Walking the Old Tukishima Trail through Albuquerque
May 6, 2012
Ben Moffett liked The DitchRider's blog post The Sunday Poem: Rich Boucher... Almost Lost: Walking the Old Tukishima Trail through Albuquerque
May 6, 2012

Basketball in New Mexico Over the Decades

 

1933: The Year ex-UNM Hoops Coach Bill Stockton Won a Title

It's not every day that a small school beats a big school in hoops, and when it happens in Indiana, they never let you forget it. Remember the movie, "Hoosiers?" Winning a title wasn't big news for small schools in New Mexico during the 1930s. Four small schools won five state titles in the thirties when all the teams played in one division. Forrest won two. Virden, an LDS community in SW New Mexico won one (and another in the 1944), Floyd claimed one title and House another.

The 1933 Forrest team included Bill Stockton, the UNM head hoops coach from 1955-56 through 1957-58. His UNM won- lost record was 14-58, but in what was one of his first trips to Carlisle Gym he won the state title as a player for the Forrest Pirates, 28-13, over the Raton Tigers, and made the all-state team.

Forrest, from Quay County, also won in 1931, defeating St. Michaels of Santa Fe, 24-13. And Stockton won two state titles as a coach at Clovis High (1951 and 1953) before moving up to UNM.

The state of basketball was not what it is today. Listen to one of Stockton's teammates, Oran Caton, describe the trip to Albuquerque from Forrest, located between Clovis and Tucumcari: "Highway 66 didn't go straight through from Santa Rosa to Albuquerque then. It ran up to Romeroville, Santa Fe and back to Albuquerque. We decided to go straight west from Santa Rosa, like I-40 goes now. At that time, it was just two tracks, no graded road, a few wagons on it. The players and townsfolk came in four or five cars, mostly Model A's." (FN)*

And what was Caton's early life in Forrest like? "I was born in a dugout. It was about four feet deep with dirt walls and a dirt floor. But we always had plenty to eat, a pen full of pigs and we butchered a calf ever so often. We'd store turnips and potatoes in a dirt pile for the winter. We were dry-land farmers -- wheat, cane, corn. It was marginal. Maybe they should never have put a plow to it." (FN)*

 

(FN)* -- Excerpts from "Oran Caton: "Sports Eased Hardscrabble Life for Albuquerque Educator." New Mexico Magazine, Nov. 2007, page 71, by Ben Moffett.

 


1948: The Year Mo Udall Beat Up on Lobos
One of the players who helped push the Lobos into a post war basketball tailspin was Morris K. Udall, who grew up in St. John's, Arizona, about 20 miles as the crow flies from the New Mexico border. Udall represented Arizona in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1961 to 1991, but in 1948, he was known only as a one-eyed, six-foot-five University of Arizona basketball player and was sometimes tagged with the nickname “Cyclops.”.
Udall lost an eye at age six when it was punctured by a playmate's rusty pocket knife, but it apparently didn't destroy his depth perception. He was one of the best, if not the best player in the Border Conference. And on his last trip into Carlisle Gym on February 12, 1948, he led the Wildcats to a 62-58 win over UNM, and summarized that game in a 1988 book about his life.
“Everything I tossed up went in. With two minutes to play and 24 points to my credit, the coach took me out to a standing ovation. Our bench was right under the press table and an Albuquerque sports writer leaned over and said, “Udall, you are a liar. No one shoots like that with a glass eye.” I plucked the slippery orb out of its socket and handed it to him, saying, “Mister, I haven't been able to see much out of this one, you try it.” (Morris K. Udall, “too funny to be President), 1988, University of Arizona, 89)
--Ben Moffett
(One of a series).

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