Nass has more to give with hoops hall

By BRENDAN PERKINS
Herald Sports Editor

The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame is around to immortalize the past. But it’s not the past that captivates Alan Nass.

Instead, Nass would rather steer the narrative toward what’s to come for the Hall of Fame in New Castle. Nass was inducted there last year, and now, the Huntingburg resident is even more entrenched in the hoops hall as he was named earlier this week to its board of directors. His four-year term begins July 1.

Interest in the Hall remains rollicking, said Nass, 73. And if business wasn’t good, he wouldn’t have been interested in becoming more involved.

Nass

“They do (good business). And if they didn’t and if the organization wasn’t active and energetic and forward-looking, I wouldn’t have consented to being on the board of directors,” said Nass, the 1959 Huntingburg High School graduate who earned a spot on the Indiana All-Star team and progressed to a standout career at Georgia Tech.

“Just to have my name on there, that’s meaningless to me. But to be part of an organization that promotes Indiana basketball and the spirit of Indiana basketball, which is probably different than any other place in the country over the years, to be part of that, to be around people that I know I’ll be serving with — Ray Pavy being one, Sam Alford being another — to be part of an active organization that’s promoting something I spent a good deal of my life either practicing or playing, that was such a camaraderie.”

Nass was actually earmarked for the board position by Alford, the Hall of Fame’s executive vice president whose son Steve starred at nearby New Castle High School and now coaches at UCLA.

Alford asked Nass a few months ago if he’d be interested, and both parties recognized the profit from the arrangement. Nass fit a duality of needs, as the new 15-member board is comprised heavily of former coaches and just two other representatives from south of Indianapolis. With Nass, they get a former player and southern flavor — as well as a business pedigree as Nass represents the fourth of five generations to run Huntingburg’s Nass and Son Funeral Home.

“One of the things that (Sam Alford) told me ... was that being from the business world, maybe I could add something from the business world to the board of directors,” Nass said.

Nass indicated there’s a good chance he’ll jump in with the investment and budget committee, as board members are farmed out to committees that suit their interests and strengths. There’s more to the gig — fundraising ventures, banquets and board meetings in New Castle four times annually. Nass embraces the demands to come.

“I’m fortunate enough that right now, I have the time to do that,” he said. “And it’s something that I’m very interested in.”

There’s been more and more things to see — and even to touch — at the 14,000-square-foot museum. Outside of the traditional memorabilia and exhibits behind glass cases, new interactive exhibits have opened where fans can attempt a “winning shot” themselves, “block the shot” of Oscar Robertson, or become a broadcaster making the call of the big game. An extensive research library is also included, as fans can dig up information about now-defunct high schools and even watch archived game films upon request.

“If somebody has not attended the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, it’s well worth their time and their energy. In fact, you can’t take in everything in one trip,” Nass said. “I’d say from my knowledge, it’s probably the top basketball hall of fame in the country.”

It’s always looking for more from fans who may be holding on to some tidbit of Hoosier hoops history that would be of interest to Hall of Fame visitors.

“We’d encourage people that have memorabilia to let us know,” Nass said.

Some of Nass’ belongings are in the mix, as the most recent Hall of Fame inductees each have a personal display set up in the museum’s main entrance. Nass has his All-Star gear, pictures, posters and his Huntingburg letter jacket displayed. After a year, those belongings are packed back up in a box and returned as the next Hall of Fame class takes center stage. When Nass’ turn in the spotlight expires, though, his behind-the-scenes work will just be revving up.

“Whenever you’re inducted into the Hall of Fame, they ask you to give a three-minute speech, and what you hear throughout is it’s very humbling,” Nass said. “And it’s not only humbling to be selected, but it’s also very humbling to be selected as part of the leadership for that organization.”

Contact Brendan Perkins




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