Tom Abernethy

  • IU basketball
  • There was more to his story than I realized.

    His father died when he was 10. He also had a brother who was born mentally handicapped, and died when Tom was 14. Further proof that most people have more challenges than we assume. You’d likely never be aware of any of this unless you really got to know him, though. He seems to glide through life, exuding peace of mind. Maybe it’s a metabolism thing, but he’s as nice a guy as you’ll ever meet. He probably doesn’t even get mad when you spell his name “Abernathy” as people used to do often, as if he were the Reverend Ralph or something.

    I conducted this conversation over the telephone. I’m not sure why, because Abernethy lives in Indianapolis, but it just worked out that way. Seems like I should have made a house call if he couldn’t come down to the studio, or visited him at the Indiana Basketball Academy.

    He had the perfect personality for being a role player on IU’s undefeated national championship team in 1976, and that humble, service-oriented approach has carried over to his career as the owner/operator of the Academy.

    First aired 2011

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