Legendary basketball coach

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Legendary basketball coach

Lucy Kramer, Beginning Journalism Student

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Jack Keefer has been the head basketball coach at Lawrence North since the school opened in 1976. As head basketball coach he has led the team to almost 800 wins, four state championships, and has coached many students into college scholarships. In 2007, Keefer was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

“When people think of Lawrence North, they think of Jack Keefer and they think of basketball, because he’s been so successful for so long,” Mike Penrose, Athletic Director, said.

On Feb. 7, Keefer was honored during halftime at the Pacers Hickory Night. Keefer, along with two other hall of fame coaches, Donna Cheatham and J.R. Holmes, were recognized for their achievements and were given a Hickory jersey with their names on it.

“They treated us all so well that night. It was quite an honor and we really enjoyed it, my wife and I,” Keefer said.

On that night Keefer had a lot of support in the stands. The boys basketball team was there, along with many others students and staff members.

“It’s an awesome opportunity for the Pacers to honor someone that has given so much to Indiana basketball and done so much for the young men that he’s been involved with for almost 50 years,” Victor Bush, assistant principal, said.

Bush was one of Keefer’s players on the 1989 State Championship team. The 1988-1989 season was the first time LN won a state title.

“Coach Keefer made a great impact in my life because he taught me the importance of paying attention to detail, how to win and how to motivate. He also gave me a great sense of family,” Bush said.

Keefer has impacted the lives of all of his players throughout the many years. This was evident in 2016 when Superintendent Dr. Shawn Smith renamed the LN main gym in honor of Keefer and so many of his players returned to honor him.

“You don’t realize the impact you’ve made,” Keefer said. “You just go from year to year. Alumni go away to college and they come back. A thing that makes you keep wanting to coach all these years is when they named the gym after me. We contacted all the kids who had played for me. My god, the whole gym was full. You don’t realize how many people you deal with in 53 years. People were coming from Texas, California, Georgia and they were having fun just being here together because they all know each other. I had fun with them reminiscing with them over the seasons that they played,” Keefer said.

 

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