By Reinis Lacis (@LamarMatic)
Minnesota Golden Gophers legend Chuck Mencel came on the podcast to relive his life and career. Plenty of stories proved to be very insightful about the events from that time. From stories about George Mikan to an innovative shooting drill he created himself and how obligations towards the army influenced his life, and much more. Chuck was fantastic at explaining the details of his playing days.
Topics discussed in the podcast:
01:35 – A membership at the Eau Claire YMCA setting off his days of athletics, being able to play as a freshman at the University of Minnesota because of a rule based on the Korean War;
05:30 – Making a game-winner against Indiana University, playing in a six overtime game against Purdue, friendship with Indiana’s Slick Leonard and Slick as someone against whom to measure himself;
11:00 – Outstanding academic performance while at University of Minnesota, players not being permitted to practice competitive basketball during the off-season, his own shooting drill, Whitey Skoog as a pioneer before him in jump shooting;
19:05 – Wanting to play at the next level, the regional selection process which affected the Minneapolis Lakers roster, playing during the era of spending time together;
22:45 – GM George Mikan making a comeback to promote the game, it being somewhat anti-climatic, returning back to his hometown after his rookie year;
27:35 – Slater Martin‘s move to the Knicks resulting in more playing time, disappointment of not playing until his physical maturity, lack of opportunities to socialize with players from other teams, Bob Cousy and Tom Gola as players hard to guard, an unfortunate racist incident for Walter Dukes when playing at Syracuse;
33:50 – Serving in the Army, success in life after pro basketball both for him and friends like Dick Garmaker and Ed Kalafat.
The media related to the podcast:
Notable snippets of the interview:
Thanks to Chuck for joining the show and providing us with such great footage after his fantastic appearance on the podcast!