Author to recount exploits of Class BB basketball champions

Steven Farney?s book on Class BB state champions includes chapters on the 1953 Burns Hornets and the 1963 Durham Hornets.McPherson author Steven Farney will lead the Lifelong Learning session ?Title Towns: Class BB Boys Basketball Champions of Kansas,? Friday, March 7.

The session begins at 9:45 a.m. in the Wohlgemuth Music Education Center at Tabor College in Hillsboro.

Farney has written a book with the same title as this seminar. It features the impact high school basketball has had on small towns.

Farney grew up in Wilson, where he played on the basketball team.

Though the book covers small towns statewide, of local interest are his stories about two Marion County championship teams.

One chapter is about the ?free-throw marathon? with the 1953 Burns Hornets, and the other is about the undefeated 1963 Durham Hor?nets, which was inducted into the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2007.

?Around 2003, I was researching a family history story,? Farney said. ?I noticed in the newspaper another story. At one time, the state had over 700 high schools. Almost all of them played basketball and that created these great geographic rivalries, towns just 5 to 6 miles apart, battling it out on the hardwoods.

?I played in one of those (Wilson vs. Dorrance) and thought about all of the great memories those games created for me as a player.

?That inspired me to start to research these smaller schools and write about their great teams. Their stories are an important part in the overall history of basketball in this state. With time, those stories will be lost.?

Farney holds a degree in history education from Kan?sas State University. He wanted to preserve the history of small towns by researching and writing about basketball.

The public is welcome to attend all Lifelong Learning programs and may register at the door. Fees are $4 per session or $15 per semester, or $29 per couple. Attendees may enjoy lunch in the Tabor College cafeteria after the sessions at the discounted price of $4.

For more information, contact Connie Isaac, Director of Lifelong Learning, at 620-947-5964 or conniei@tabor.edu.

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