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Hoops legend Mickey Crowe making Appleton appearance

7:12 AM, Oct. 28, 2013  |  Comments
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One of the more memorable high school basketball games of Mickey Crowe's fabled career was played in Appleton.

It was Dec. 20, 1974. The backdrop was Xavier High School and what is now called Torchy Clark Gym, a classic bandbox setting where the ceiling is low, fans are shoehorned onto bleachers pressed against each sideline and the roar of the crowd can crack a decibel meter.

Mickey Crowe's troubled life detailed in book biography

Crowe was a 6-foot-5 senior beanpole who would average nearly 42 points per game that season to lead the nation. And he would graduate as the state's career scoring leader with 2,724 points despite no three-point line and harassing defensive attention.

The "delirious, packed gymnasium," as former Post-Crescent staff writer Roger Pitt recounted in his game story, watched as Crowe jacked up 62 shots from all areas of the floor to finish with a game-high 41 points in a 90-85 upset loss to the Hawks.

Crowe, who has had to persevere through some seriously tough times after high school, will be back in Appleton on Tuesday to sign copies of the recently released book I wrote about his career and life: "Over and Back/Mickey Crowe."

The event will be held in the lobby of Alexander Gym at Lawrence University at 6 p.m. Books will be available. And if you're a hoops fan, get there even earlier because the Lawrence men's basketball team will open its practice to the public, beginning at 5 p.m.

Perhaps no high school player has captured the imagination or generated as much hype since Crowe mesmerized state fans in the 1970s. Here's hoping the gym will be packed once more to catch a rare glimpse of this Wisconsin sports legend.

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