Jack Wade Moreland

By Billy Hathorn, Class of 1966

 

 

 

 


Jackie Moreland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 
Jack Wade "Jackie" Moreland (March 11, 1938 - December 19, 1971) was an American basketball player for the Detroit Pistons and the former New Orleans Buccaneers. Originally from Minden, the seat of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana, he played in 1955 and 1956 for the Minden High School Crimson Tide, where under Coach Cleveland S. "Cleve" Strong (born 1924), he was his school's first ever to have been named "All American" in basketball. Thereafter, he played for a semester at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. He then excelled on the court at Louisiana Tech University (Louisiana Polytechnic Institute) at Ruston, where he was again "All American" in 1958, 1959, and 1960, under Coach Cecil C. Crowley (1908-1991). He then completed three and a half-years at Tech.
 
Moreland was the only Minden High School graduate to have played with the
National Basketball Association. He was selected by the Pistons in the first round in the 1960 NBA Draft and remained with the team until 1965. He was the fourth selection in the 1960 draft - behind only Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, and Jerry West. From 1967-1970, he played for the Buccaneers. At the start of his professional basketball career, he earned from $20,000 to $25,000 per year.
 
He earned 5,030 points in his career, an average of 21.3 per game. His 1,419 collegiate points was the fourth highest in the history of Louisiana, where he played three, instead of the customary four, years for the Bulldogs.
Moreland was also an outstanding student at Minden High School, where he garnered many awards, including annual honors in U.S.
history. He graduated in 1956 as the class salutatorian.
 
At Tech, Moreland procured his
bachelor of science degree in civil engineering. After he retired from basketball, he was a project engineer on the Louisiana Superdome, having been employed for the preceding year by Shilstone Laboratory.
 
In
August 1971, Moreland, at the age of thirty-three, experienced severe stomach pains. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died in intense pain some four months later in the new family home on the West Bank of the Mississippi River in New Orleans. The cancer spread to the liver, the stomach, and throughout his whole body. Medical bills soared, and friends from across the state and from Detroit as well contributed to a fund to sustain the young family. While Moreland was ailing, he received a call from then U.S. Representative Edwin Washington Edwards, the leading candidate for governor, who tried to cheer up the patient by telling him to "get out of that bed and come and help me campaign."
 
Moreland was survived by his wife, the former Jeanette "Jenny" Woodard (born
August 14, 1939), a champion swimmer, beauty contestant, singer/dancer, and a 1957 graduate of Minden High School; two children, now Jennafer Moreland "Jenna" Litschewski (born 1961), the wife of Jack A. Litschewski of the District of Columbia, and James Steven "Jamie" Moreland (born 1965) of Shreveport, who is married to Francesca Benten; his parents, James Burgess Moreland and the former Lucille Wade, the daughter of Moreland's maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Edd Wade; two sisters, Nita and Marlene, and four brothers, Joe, Edd, Ralph, and Lloyd Moreland.
 
In
1974, Jenny Moreland married Jackie's MHS classmate, Francis Edward Kennon, Jr., a Shreveport developer and a Louisiana Public Service Commissioner from 1973-1984. They subsequently divorced in 1983. Jenny Kennon and her son Jamie operate Lea Hall Properties, a real estate company in Shreveport named for its founder, Lea R. Hall, Sr. (1937-1995).
 
Moreland's services were held in the First
Baptist Church of Minden on a particularly cold and wet day just prior to Christmas 1971. Interment was in Bethlehem Cemetery in the Harris Community between Minden and Homer, the seat of neighboring Claiborne Parish. Moreland and his family had lived in the Harris Community prior to their move to Minden in time for his senior year of high school.
 
Kerry B. Garland (
1951-1983), then the sports editor for the Minden Press-Herald summed up the 6 foot, 7-inch Moreland, called "Our Giraffe" by classmates, as follows: The victory bell remains silent in Minden today; the hero is dead. Cancer's inexorable finality has humbled Jackie Moreland; something no athlete could do."
 
Moreland was inducted
posthumously into the Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame in ceremonies held in Natchitoches. Jenny Kennon accepted the award for the family.
 


References
 
Kerry B. Garland, Jackie Moreland obituary, ''Minden Press-Herald'', December 20, 1971, p. 1
 
Jackie Moreland obituary, Minden High School Class of 1956: MindenMemories.net

Categories: People from Minden, Louisiana | Minden High School (Minden, Louisiana) alumni | Louisiana Tech University alumni | Louisiana Tech Bulldogs basketball players | North Carolina State University alumni | Baptists from the United States | Pancreatic cancer deaths | 1938 births | 1971 deaths | Detroit Pistons players | New Orleans Buccaneers players | People from New Orleans | American engineers
 

Jack Wade "Jackie" Moreland (March 11, 1938 - December 19, 1971) was an American basketball player originally from Minden, the seat of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana. He played for Minden High School, where in 1955 and 1956, he was his school's first ever to have been named "All American" in basketball. Thereafter, he excelled on the court at Louisiana Tech University (then Louisiana Polytechnic Institute) at Ruston, where he was again "All American" in 1958, 1959, and 1960. His coaches were Cleveland S. Strong at Minden High School and Cecil C. Crowley at Louisiana Tech.

Moreland was the only Minden High School graduate to play with the National Basketball Association. He was selected by the Detroit Pistons in the fourth round in the 1960 NBA Draft and remained with the team until 1965. From 1967-1970, Moreland played for the New Orleans Buccaneers.

He earned 5,030 points in his career, an average of 21.3 per game. His 1,419 collegiate points was the fourth highest in Louisiana Tech history, and he played only three, instead of the customary four, years for the Tech Bulldogs.

Moreland was also an outstanding student at Minden High School, where he garnered many awards, including the annual honors in U.S. history. He graduated in 1956 as the class salutatorian.

Moreland died of cancer at the age of thirty-three. He was survived by his wife, the former Jeanette Woodard (born 1939 and a 1957 graduate of Minden High School; two children, Jennifer and Jamie; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Moreland; two sisters, and four brothers. Mrs. Moreland later operated a real estate company in Shreveport.

Services were held in the First Baptist Church of Minden. Interment was in Bethlehem Cemetery in the the Harris Community between Minden and Homer, the seat of neighboring Claiborne Parish.

Kerry B. Garland (1951-1983), then the sports editor for the Minden Press-Herald summed up the 6 foot, 7-inch Moreland, called "Our Giraffe" by classmates, as follows: The victory bell remains silent in Minden today; the hero is dead. Cancer's inexorable finality has humbled Jackie Moreland; something no athlete could do."

Moreland was inducted posthumously into the Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

 

JACK MORELAND RECEIVES ANOTHER POSTHUMOUS AWARD IN 2011

AFTER FIFTY-FIVE YEARS




I was out of town n a trip and didn’t get to attend, but recently, my son, Jamie Moreland, and his wife, Francesca, travelled to Lafayette, La., to receive a posthumous award for Jack Moreland. It seems that Jack is still the fourth leading all-time high school basketball scorer in the nation after all these years (55 years!) – (until recently he was third). Jamie received the award for his dad during the Top Twenty Basketball Tournament held at University of Louisiana in Lafayette (known colloquially as Oooh La La, as I understand it). He enjoyed meeting some of the coaches and other players who played during the era of his dad. I feel that this is quite a feat considering that when Jack played, there were no “three-pointers”, and I remember what an unselfish player Jack was – always willing to set up a layup for someone else whenever the play presented itself. Anyway, I thought that the folks from Minden might like to know that after fifty-five years Jack is still being remembered by his fellow athletes and associates.


Jenny Kennon

 

 

Jackie Moreland was inducted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame. His widow, the former Jeanette Woodard gave the acceptance speech.  His son, Jamie, and daughter, Jennifer,  also attended the ceremony.  Jeanette and one of her children are now owners of a successful real estate company in Shreveport.

 Minden   Press Herald - May 19, 1955
 
In an award assembly held at the school recently, Jackie Moreland was named   the most "outstanding history student" at
Minden High and was presented an award by Mrs. Paul Campbell on behalf of the Daughters of the American   Revolution.

               

 
Moreland Named to All-American Basketball Team
      
As a climax to a brilliant high school basketball career,  Jack Moreland was chosen as a high school All-American by Haskell Cohen of  the National Basketball Association after a poll of college and professional  coaches, scouts, and sportswriters for the NEA News Service.

In his high school career, Moreland has made 60 per cent of his field shots and 90 per cent of his free throws.  He holds a state record  for the most consecutive free throws with twenty-seven.  For the past two seasons he has averaged twenty-six rebounds per game, and this past season he made a total of 1,965 points.  Too, he has been named to the All-State basketball squad for the past three years.

Each member of the All-American squad will receive a Bulova  watch.
                                                                                                                   ----Author  Unknown

 

 Jack Moreland Given Jaycee Award 1956
  
The Minden Jaycees presented their most valuable player award April 2 to Jack Moreland for his final and most brilliant high school basketball season.

 The trophy was presented at the appreciation banquet sponsored each year both before and after the cage season.  Jaycee Orlis "Shorty" Long   presented the double award to Moreland.

 The All-American court wizard was given one of the trophies for his own keeping, and Minden High School received the other one  to place on its trophy shelf.

 Present at the team banquet were players Jack Moreland, Cecil  Maxey, James Rhea Love, Richard Yates, Edd Moreland, Joe Moreland, Wilbur "Rat" Roden, Don Martin, Johnny Hudson, David Evans, and James Allen Norris.

Coach Cleve Strong introduced each player, giving a brief review of the high lights of each one's season.

Speaking for the Jaycees, President George McKinny praised the entire team for its outstanding season, and introduced Long, who in turn made the MVP award to Moreland.

Following his introduction of the team, Coach Strong extended  special praise for the manner in which the boys had performed throughout the season in spite of knowing that "their great play was being over-shadowed by a   boy who consistently dominated the game and the resulting publicity."

"It's a rare thing when a whole team will play their hearts out under similar circumstances without any resentment as this group has done.  I have never mentioned this before because I think it was obvious to  everyone who saw them play, but at this time I would like to say it, and to  congratulate each of the boys, some of whom would have easily been stars had they been on a team without such a player."

Principal Wayne Williams expressed his and the school's appreciation for the interest shown in the school by the Jaycees and congratulated the team on the way they had accepted the outcome of the season.

"The very manner in which you accepted the disappointment of losing out in the championship race makes you to us the uncrowned champions of Louisiana," he told them.   

   
      NUMBER FORTY-FOUR JERSEY RETIRED - From the Tide Talk April 13, 1956  
    

Jack Moreland, who had already received almost every  token of esteem available to an outstanding prep athlete, was recognized at  ceremonies here April 2 with the highest honor his own school could give  him.

Jersey number "44", perhaps the most widely publicized numeral ever to adorn the jersey of a Louisiana high school basketball player, and the one under which the stellar cager ran up his staggering  point total during his high school career, was retired forever from use on a  Minden basketball player.

 It marked the first time in the history of the school that  one of its athletes had been so honored. principal Wayne Williams announced the retirement of the number at the Jaycees' annual basketball appreciation banquet held to honor the entire Minden cage team.

The school uniform includes a white jersey and a red one, one of which Williams presented to Moreland as a token of the school's appreciation, and the other one he kept to be placed on display permanently  among the school's most prized trophies."
The honor you have been chosen to receive involves very little expense," said Williams, "but it represents the highest gesture a grateful school can render one of its members
."

In making the presentation, Williams outlined some of  Moreland's accomplishments during his stay at Minden.  The popular athlete, in addition to winning every laurel possible to a high school player,  including an All-American nomination, is a straight "A" student, president  of the Webster parish student council, president of his own school student  council, president of his senior class and the recipient of numerous other  school honors.

 Moreland was unaware until the last minute of the school's decision to retire his jersey number.

I would just like to say that I'm very grateful for the  honor the school has given me.  It could never have been possible without     all the fellows who played with me on the team.  And there's one other thing  I want to say---I made a wise move when I chose Minden as my school."   

THE NIGHT COACH "BEAR BRYANT" TRIED TO RECRUIT JACK MORELAND FOR A & M

 During the time Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant was football coach and athletic director for Texas A&M he tried to recruit Tide     basketball  player star Jackie Moreland for A&M. One night when Mr. W.W.Williams was working late in his office he got a call from Mr. Joe Oliphant, Tide athletic director , asking the principal if he would go with him that evening to the Moreland home so he could talk to Jackie and his father. Mr. Williams knew if they went to the Moreland home at 10:30p.m. to wake him you, couldn't offer his boy enough money to go to Texas A & M. Jack went  instead to Kentucky and then to N.C., but never played , as both were placed  on probation. He went to Louisiana Tech where he played for three Tech  winning seasons before he played professional ball with the New  Orleans Buccaneers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

    The Minute Magazine - Writtten by William Turner  Watson    (Submitted by Marsha Boyd Salmon)

    FUND OPENS TO AID FAMILY OF JACKIE MORELAND - December 16, 1971, From the Minden Press herald

Minden-Friends and admirers of Minden's greatest cage performer -- Jackie Moreland have begun a Jack Moreland Fund to help defray medical expenses for the former Minden High School and former Louisiana Tech All -American, it was announced this morning.
Moreland, an All-American at Minden High School and at Tech and a professional cage performer is critically ill in a New Orleans hospital.
Jack's former Tech coach Cecil Crowley is serving as one of three heading up the contribution drive.
Also serving as chairman are Tech cage mentor Scotty Robertson, and Ruston businessman, Dick Ambrose.
Anyone in Minden, Ruston or surrounding area wishing to help in this matter is urged to send their contribution to the Louisiana Tech athletic department and earmark the contribution for the Jackie Moreland Fund. Moreland, after a fantastic high school career as a three-time All-American at Tech, was the No. 1 draft choice of the Detroit Pistons of the NBA. After a fine
pro tenure in the Motor City, Moreland went on to Louisiana's only pro cage club in New Orleans, an ABA franchise. In only three years of play at Tech, Moreland scored 1,491 points for a school record of 21.3 ppg. His record still stands.


  
       MR. SENIOR - Jack Moreland  ..... From   the May 4, 1956 Tide   Talk                                                                                                               

   We, the Senior Class of 1956, pay tribute to one who   supplies much of the intellect of our class and no little of its brilliance   --- Jack Moreland, Mister Senior.
   A striking contrast to some of the others of our number, Jack,   since he first boosted the ranks of our class at mid-term of the sophomore   year, has made a record which, we think, shall be unchallenged at Minden High   School. Let it never be said of Jack that, "A prophet is not without honor,   save in his own country and in his own house."
    Seldom has a young man found it possible to correlate his   studies, his recreation, and his friendships in such a grandiose manner as has  Jack in graduating salutatorian of our corps, in playing his way to an   All-American-ship in basketball, and in serving his fellow students with such   humility as he has as president of the class in his junior year, and student   council and class president in this his senior year.
   Over the past three years "Moreland" has become the hallmark   of Minden High.  Jack is our "Giraffe," but also our "DAR Award Winner," our   "Mr. School Spirit," our "Best Athlete," our "Most Outstanding Boy," and our   "Best All-Around Boy."
   Standing a lofty six feet seven inches, Jack has placed Minden   High in the minds and eyes of the basketball fans of Louisiana.  When   Principal W. W. Williams stopped a ball game with North Caddo in the past   season to present Jack a gold basketball, his record stood at 4,462 points for   his four years in high school; his record for the year, at 1,208.  With a   shooting percentage of over 50 per cent from the floor; 90 per cent from the   free throw line, it is apparent that next year the team and the student body   can not help feeling the tremendous loss.
   If it be true that speech is silver and silence is golden,   then Jack is a veritable gold mine.  He has made a reputation for himself as   one of those strong, silent people. It is not strange that his silence has   gained such a reputation for wisdom, for daily we see that reputation backed   by proof.  Might we all benefit by silence---at least until we have something   worth while to say.  May Jack's silence continue to add to his distinction and   may those of us who lack restraint profit from his reticence.
    If in concluding we must summarize, let us say, "He wears his   honors well; we are proud to be Jack Moreland's classmates."
                                            -----Author   Unknown----- 

Jackie Moreland will always be remembered as Minden's hero.

Jack Moreland, Minden High School Class of 1956 Graduate dies

Sunday December 19, 1971. From the Minden Press-Herald by Kerry
Garland, Sports Editor
Minden - The victory bell hangs silent in Minden today; the hero is dead.
Cancer's inexorable finality has humbled Jackie Moreland; something no
athlete could do.
At age 33, Moreland faced his last challenge Sunday...and lost. Jackie
death with the same dignity and humility with which he accepted nearly
every honor available to an athlete, prep or professional.
From the halls of Minden High School to the courts of the National Basketball
Association, Moreland's name was omnipresent, his memory is eternal.
An All-American at MHS and later at Louisiana Tech, Moreland is the only
MHS graduate to ever play in the pro basketball leagues.
His 5,030 career points is second only to the total of Ebarb's Greg Procell,
but his dominance of the game is second to none.
Moreland's 21.3 points per game scoring average is tops on the Louisiana
Tech record books, his 1,491 collegiate points is fourth in the La. Tech annals.
Unlike the three who precede him on all-time Tech charts, Moreland played
only three years.
He was a high school All-American in 1955 and 1956, and a collegiate
All-American in 1958, 1959 and 1960.
Moreland is one of two Tech All-Americans, and only the second Louisiana 
collegiate to make the dream team three times.
Funeral services for Moreland are set for 11:00 a.m. Tuesday in the First
Baptist Church of Minden with Dr. Prince officiating.
Services will be under the direction of Green-Kleinegger Funeral Home of
Minden.
Moreland is survived by his wife, Jeanette; two children, Jennifer and Jamie;
his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Moreland of Harris community; two sisters
Nita McAdoo of Huntington Beach, California, and Marlene Gill of Atlanta, Ga.;
four brothers, Edd Moreland of Shreveport, Joe Moreland of Ruston, Lloyd
Moreland of Homer and Ralph Moreland of Grand Terrace, California. He will be interred in the 

Bethlehem Cemetery near the Harris Community between Homer and Minden.

Betty Claire Rhea was fair princess in 1955. The car she was in was driven by the great Jackie Moreland in the 1955 fair parade.

Jack Moreland is still remembered a a hometown hero in Minden. Betty Claire did follow him to Louisiana Tech where she was  elected as a State Fair Princess in the Fall of 1958. She graduated in 1960 and became a doctor. 

 .      

 April 1957 Sport magazine.

When the basket carpetbaggers finished their scrambling after hotshot Jackie Moreland, the boy's father said: "I never saw people who seemed to hate each other so much." That is reason enough for spreading upon the record this shocking  story of the shame of our colleges.

Compliments of Ann Mays Harlan

Betty Claire Rhea did become a doctor after she finished Louisiana Tech. She married Dr. DeLoach and became a Physician in a Pain Management Clinic. According to the NOLA newspapers she was facing up to three years in prison after pleading guilty in June 2006 to concealing a conspiracy to narcotics without a legitimate medical reason. Her plea followed the guilty plea by Dr. Joseph Guenther. Betty Claire's agreements made her a key government witness against the chief defendant in the case against the chief defendant, Cherilyn "Cookie" Armstrong, a registered nurse in Metairie, Slidell and Gretna under the name Scheire's Medica Center.