FRIDAY, JULY 10, 2009
JU Hall of Famer Vaughn Wedeking passes away
JU basketball legend Vaughn Wedeking passed away Friday after a lengthy illness at the age of 60.
A native of Evansville, Ind., Wedeking was a star at JU – one of the leaders of the Dolphins run to the national championship game in 1970.
“Vaughn was just an extraordinary and talented individual,” said teammate and fellow JU legend Artis Gilmore. “He was a skillful, intellectual leader. We are all saddened by his loss and I send my thoughts and prayers to Dayle and his family during this trying time.”
He was named to the Little All-America team in 1970, an honor for players shorter than 6-feet. What he lacked in height, he had in saavy and basketball knowledge – averaging 13.7 points and dishing out 137 assists in guiding JU to a 27-2 record.
"If I could get the quickest guard in the country, like (Wedeking) was, I felt we could compete with anybody in the country," then-JU head coach Joe Williams said. "He was a great physical athlete. He made very few errors. Of course, it was a little easier with Rex Morgan on one wing and Artis was such a big target."
His most famous play from the 1970 season wasn’t a basket or an assist – but taking a charge against Kentucky in the Mideast Regional title game to go to the Final Four.
Artis Gilmore had just picked up his fourth foul after a UK player jumped in front of him to take a charge as he turned to run upcourt.
"I ran over the top of him like an 18-wheeler for my fourth foul," Gilmore said.
Shortly thereafter, Wedeking decided he was going to take control of the situation, drawing a charge from UK legend Dan Issel — Issel's fifth foul — with 10:16 still to play.
"I just got in front of him so he'd run over me like they did on Artis earlier in the game," Wedeking told reporters at the time.
He excelled in the classroom as well, earning an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship in 1971. With that scholarship, he entered dental school and served as a dentist in Portland, Ore. until retiring in 2005.
Wedeking was inducted into the JU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame this past March.
He is survived by his wife, Dayle, and his twin sons – Graham and Drew.
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