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Moose Dabich entertained Lander Rotarians with basketball stories Wednesday

Moose Dabich entertained Lander Rotarians with basketball stories Wednesday

Lander's former Professional Basketball Player Moose Dabich, entered the Rotary Club of Lander Wednesday. All 7' of him. Dabich now lives in Hudson and makes homemade musical instruments in his spare time when not doing construction carpentry. "Gene Patch was my coach at Lander, and once when I dunked the ball in a game at Greybull he pulled me off the floor and was angry, called me a showboater," he said. At that time, Dabich said he was about 6'10" or so, and he grew so fast that all of his joints hurt all the time. Dabich also revealed how he got the nickname of "Moose." It occurred one day in his youth when he and another boy were chasing each other at the county courthouse. Dabich ran right through a screen door and then Sheriff Pee Wee McDougal remarked that reminded him of a moose moving through the willows. The nickname stuck. Asked about all the "how's the weather up there?" comments due to his height, Dabich said he got used it, but that his mother never liked it. "My mom had to make all my clothes then." After high school, Dabich said he went to the University of Wyoming, but he only played basketball and didn't study, so that didn't last long. He then enrolled at Montana State, but came down with mononucleosis and came home to recover. From there he went to Sheridan College and then to New Mexico State where he played two years for Lon Henson, later the coach at Illinois. He regaled the club with stories about Henson and recruiting trips that he went on with the coach, "so I could see eye to eye with a potential recruit." At once such trip in Mississippi, Dabich recalled that Henson went to the local Piggly Wiggly and bought six chickens and had them cut up, and he filled the cart with other groceries, went to the recruit's house and cooked dinner for the family. The mother of the player agreed that her son would play for the Aggies, "but she made Henson give her the recipe for the chicken he cooked first!" While at NMSU, Dabich said he had the opportunity to visit with and scrimmage with the players at nearby Texas Western in El Paso, where Don Haskins put together the first all-black starting lineup that won the national championship. The school is now known as UTEP. "They were all great guys and good basketball players. I'm still in touch with some of them." Dabich's pro career first took him to the New York Knickerbockers for several seasons. He then played for the Goodyear AAU team, winning a national championship and being named to an All-Star Team. He then moved on to play in South Africa, and then back to America in the ABA for Oakland, Dallas, and the LA Stars before he left to play and coach in Europe. "It's a worldwide game. My only wish is that I would've stayed in Laramie longer," he said. *Feature Photo: Rotary Club President Mark Calhoun talked with Mike "Moose" Dabich after his presentation Wednesday noon. (Pitchengine Communities) * #county10 #news