A Tribute To Jack Scheuer
October 19, 2020 –
On Wednesday mornings from November to March many of us eagerly read Off The Boards, a column by Jack Scheuer. In that concise, informative, entertaining, and humorous column Jack would regale the reader with his knowledge of basketball history, accomplishments of players, insights into the teams, and his favorite, the Trivia Question. Sadly, those Wednesday’s will be different now with the passing of its author.
I would receive feedback after each edition. Mostly, the trivia question where the responses ranged from ‘that one was a layup’ to ‘I didn’t know that, really?’ Most of us would look forward to Jack’s ability to challenge our knowledge.
And I was asked how did he know this? And where did he find this? Jack would respond that he just read a lot. He did, but the real reason that Off The Boards was so entertaining was that Jack loved the subject, and loved to share the knowledge.
Jack enjoyed the accomplishments of the players. He would tell us not only the points scored, but assists, rebounds, steals, and all aspects of the game for players we heard about, and those that we may not know. Jack would delve into such detail because that is how he saw the game and appreciated those who contributed to the team in as many aspects as possible. He also respected the players who overcame challenges to succeed, like the smaller guards that he liked. Jack also had admiration for the walk-on’s who may have scored just one collegiate basket. Jack knew how much that meant to them, and he, too, was proud.
Insights to teams were provided, especially the locals, who Jack knew from the inside. His comments were fair and respectful for both the positive and critical.
History? He had the knowledge. I would sit with him at the Palestra and other venues talking about former players and teams. Do you know who led the city in scoring? He asked, then we would discuss who. Who was the hardest worker? he would ask, and we would form a list. He appreciated the success of the newer players, but also respected those who played earlier.
In the present it was how many assists do they have? or they must be shooting terribly from the three-point line, and you got to make foul shots!, and the stat sheet was reviewed for the answer. We would talk about trends, stats, and who was playing better. You would learn something about basketball listening to Jack, and it would add to the enjoyment of the game whether it be Good Hoops (GH) or Bad Hoops (BH) according to Jack.
And then the trivia question? He loved that. Trivia was a subject in the press room, and everyone participated.
There was one quality that Jack prized above all others, and that was sportsmanship. He looked for that quality in players, coaches, and officials. I am especially honored that Jack selected me to present the Sportsmanship Award at the Herb Good Basketball Club banquets. I know how much that award meant to him.
I appreciated Jack’s labor of love. It will be missed, but more so he will be missed.
My sincere condolences to his wife, Jean, and his entire family over your loss.
In my last conversation with Jack he asked “don’t forget me.” Nobody in the sports community will, Jack. Your friendship was prized by all who crossed your path.
I will never forget you, and that is one promise that I can and will keep my friend.
Rest in Peace.
Written By: Glenn Papazian