By Mark Ambrogi
Through his research, Kermit Paddack has discovered Zionsville Community High School boys basketball program’s biggest claim to fame.
“It’s the only school I’ve managed to find that two graduates that have coached in a national championship (basketball) game,” Paddack said.
That would be Butler’s Brad Stevens (runner-up in 2010, 2011) and Indiana State’s Bill Hodges (1979 runner-up).
Paddack, a Hussey-Mayfield Memorial Public Library assistant department head for circulation, is writing a book, “Zionsville Basketball: A Century of Eagles.”
“I’ve tried to track down every point that has been scored,” Paddack said. “It’s been tough in the early years. I’ve managed to get just about everything from about 1930 on, except for a couple of games here or there. Prior to that, Zionsville was a tiny town, so they didn’t get coverage in most other papers. Small papers didn’t cover sports all that in-depth.”
Paddack, 32-year-old Lebanon resident, tracked the scoring through Zionsville and Lebanon newspapers or through papers that covered the other teams.
“There were some scorebooks that I did manage to find from the 1960s and 1950s,” he said. “The current coach (Shaun Busick) was helpful and had scorebooks from his 10 years here.”
Basketball was the first ZCHS athletics program in the early 1900s. Paddack, who started at Hussey-Mayfield in 2013, began researching newspaper microfilm during his lunch break at SullivanMunce Cultural Center.
Stevens, now the Boston Celtics head coach, is the school’s all-time leading scorer. Jim Rosenstihl, a 1944 graduate, is the only ZCHS boys player in the Indiana Hall of Fame. Rosenstihl played at Butler and had a long coaching career, including stints at Zionsville and Lebanon.
Paddack, a Sheridan High School graduate, previously wrote “Sheridan High School Football, History and Tradition” and “Tiger Basketball, A Lebanon Passion.” Paddack is targeting September for publication.
“This is something I like to do,” Paddack said. “I can tell you from the other two books I’ve done, it’s not a big moneymaker. The people you meet in doing it are really interesting and (I enjoy) how excited they are that someone is looking at their history.”