Everybody has a hoop
Ron Hostetler too said the community is comparable to the fictional town of Hickory, Ind. in the basketball movie “Hoosiers.”
“That’s just about the way it is,” Ron said. “Everybody has a hoop somewhere.”
Ron goes to all the Westview home games, but was forced to leave his seat vacant the last two games because of knee surgery. He will also have to catch today’s game on television.
Perhaps he can watch the game with his father, Norman “Bud” Hostetler.
Bud, at 83, is an honored Westview fan. He sits at mid-court in a seat reserved for him. He has only missed three Westview home games in the past 50 years. Those absences were because he went over to Fairfield High School to watch one of his grandson’s play basketball.
“I have seen a lot of ball games over the years,” he said. “A lot of good teams, mediocre teams and weak teams.”
Bud is letting Ron run the family’s dairy farm these days just south of Emma Lake.
Sitting in his spacious kitchen, Bud’s sharp eyes stared across the room into long ago days.
“I played at Shipshewana,” he said. “I graduated in 1949.”
He played three years on the varsity squad as a point guard.
“In 1948 we had a good team. I think we lost three games that year,” he said. “We went to Kendallville. They were rated No. 10 in the state and would you believe we beat those guys.”
That was back when the sectional was 18 teams divided into groups of nine from Noble and LaGrange counties.
“This was an all-day affair,” Bud said of sectional play back then. Teams would play in the morning and if they won, again in the evening.
“We beat those guys, seven points I think, and they were undefeated that year,” he said of the Kendallville squad.
But the glory was fleeting. In the sectional semi-finals Shipshewana fell to a scrappy Wawaka team.
“We played like we had never played basketball before,” Bud said, his head shaking in disbelief as fresh as if he was still in the locker room after that game.
Westview was formed by merging Shipshewana-Scott and the Topeka school districts in the mid 1960s.
Besides attending most every game, Bud said he drove the team bus for 11 years and was a basketball referee for seven.
“He still thinks he could do a better job (than current refs),” his wife Barbara kidded him.
Bud doesn’t dwell long on the past. He keeps an eye on future prospects and says the current seventh-grade boys team has some good players and he expects that group to have a lot of success. His grandson Eric coaches that team.
As for himself, he still loves the game that has been a big part of his life. At 83, he may no longer be able to bring the ball upcourt or drive the lane, but he still plays.
“I still enjoy it, I do,” Bud said. “I still shoot foul shots with by grandkids.”