He’s not well-known to fans outside Butler’s basketball realm, but during his career there in the early Sixties he was a major local star. A 6-6 center with movie star looks, he led the team in rebounding all three seasons and finished as the school’s all-time rebounding leader. (He still ranks third.) He also led the scoring as a junior and senior, and was a sophomore starter on the first Butler team to play in the NCAA tournament in 1962.
He was an eighth-round draft pick of the Boston Celtics in 1964, but didn’t survive the final cut. He came back to Indiana and took his place as a former great who was remembered fondly, if only by local fans.
This was a bit of a vanity project for me, because I’d grown up going to Butler games and watched Blue play several times. I was at that impressionable age of 8 or 9, when you think every really good player is practically mythical, so to me he was a major star. I got as big a kick out of talking with him on the telephone as I did meeting with just about anyone else for the show. The episode received an impressive amount of feedback, too, because I’m far from the only one who remembers him.
First aired 2013
Tagged with: Butler basketball, Jeff Blue