George Glymph has not changed.
Demonstrating basketball drills for 180 boys at this week’s Hoop-ology camp at Eau Claire High, the semi-retired coach looked much the same as he did 20 years ago. Glymph, who led the Shamrocks boys team to five state championships from 1981 to 1995 and put Columbia on the map nationally in the sport before moving to the NBA, was sharp as ever as he schooled the boys on the fundamentals of the game in the gymnasium he once ruled.
“I love to come here every year. It’s important because kids don’t know the game anymore ... This game is my passion. It made me who I am.”
In recognition of what Glymph has meant to the Eau Claire basketball community, the Richland 1 school board is accepting public input on a request to name Eau Claire’s new gym, which has been in use since last season, in Glymph’s honor. The board will accept input until July 25 and vote in August.
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“When they first mention it, you’re in awe, you’re honored, because clearly you made so much of an impact that someone would want to put your name on a public building,” Glymph said.
“That would be the crowning glory to a legacy. I could be gone, but that building’s going to be here for a long time.”
To James Abrams, one of Glymph’s former players and director of the Hoop-ology camp, the decision is a no-brainer.
“It only makes sense that his name be on a building at his home school,” Abrams said. “It just stamps his name, his legacy on that building ... It’s about the right time.”
Glymph has long been the godfather of basketball at Eau Claire and in the Columbia area. Among the players he coached at Eau Claire was Jermaine O’Neal, who recently was traded from the Indiana Pacers to the Toronto Raptors.
Glymph also is the coach who imbued the Rock Pit — the original Eau Claire gymnasium, where Hoop-ology camps are held — with a reputation for gutsy competition and sportsmanship.
“When we named this gym the Rock Pit, I wanted it to be someplace where teams came and played hard, got the utmost respect, and when the game was over, it was over,” Glymph said.
“I want that same kind of atmosphere to carry into the new gym. But also, I want to be remembered as a man who made a contribution not just in basketball, but in life.”
Reach Nelson at (803) 771-8419.