TERRE HAUTE —
Two seniors at South Vermillion High School have enjoyed success on the links and intend to play college golf in the state.
Brandon Bekkering is ranked No. 1 in his class with a 4.00 grade-point average — that is all As — and will go to DePauw, where his coach will be Vince Lazar. He plans to major in biology and political science with an emphasis on pre-law.
Logan Burdick is ranked sixth in his class and will attend Wabash, where his coach will be Mack Petty. He is not sure about his major. “Mom would like for me to major in law,” Burdick said recently.
Bekkering says he was about 3 when he first played golf. His dad, Tom, has been greenskeeper at Matthews Park for more than 30 years and his stepdad, Scott Hess, formerly was the PGA pro at Geneva Hills. “He [Hess] has helped me a lot and getting my swing down,” he said.
Bekkering was medalist in sectional and Western Indiana Conference matches last year and just missed qualifying for the state. “I had a two-shot penalty for testing the surface … and missed by one shot of going to state. The USGA later said it was not a penalty,” he noted.
His goal, therefore, is to make it to state this season as well as helping the team win its second sectional in school history.
His low round in high school has been 31 at Forest Park as the team set a school record, shooting 141.
Burdick also says he was 3 or 4 when he started playing golf. “My grandfather got me started,” he said.
He has tied for medalist honors twice this season in multi-team tournaments, in the Terre Haute South Invitational and in the Greencastle Invitational. He lost the South playoff to Thomas Goss and beat Nick Brotherton in the Greencastle playoff.
He said he has been helped in his game by Hess and former Rea Park pro Jon Holloway. “I’m playing a lot better this spring,” Burdick said.
He has played in some of the summer tournaments and Terre Haute junior city and took first in the first flight in the Spaghetti Open last summer.
• New look — The NBA finals will have a new look to them this season with the elimination of the Los Angeles Lakers, the defending champs, on Sunday.
They were swept by the Dallas Mavericks and lost the last game by a record score.
Sadly for LA fans, it may have been the last game for coach Phil Jackson, who has guided teams to 11 titles.
One of his assistants in that time has been Terre Haute native Frank Hamblen. One TV commentator mentioned Frank and Tex Winter as two of the top coaches Jackson has had on his staff.
By the way, the Dallas coach is Rick Carlisle, formerly of the Pacers.
TV ratings are up for the NBA playoffs and part of that is because of the success of Memphis, the good games given Chicago by the Pacers and the all-star lineup of Miami.
• Tom-Cattin’ It — Indianapolis media report that North Central junior D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera will enroll at Oak Hill Academy for his senior year.
The Indy player originally had committed to Xavier but has changed his mind and reopened the recruiting.
Another North Central junior says he will attend Purdue. Ronnie Johnson picked Purdue over Illinois and other schools.
He averaged 14.5 points and 5.0 assists for the Class 4A power last season.
• Purdue coach Matt Painter has completed his men’s basketball staff by hiring Greg Gary, who has been on the Duquesne staff and who once was the coach at Centenary.
Butler reportedly has hired former Indiana player Michael Lewis, who set the assists record for the Hoosiers with 545 and had been at Eastern Illinois six seasons before accepting a position at Loyola of Chicago, which he held only a short time. Loyola made the announcement.
• Former IU player Keith Smart, meanwhile, is out after one year as the coach at Golden State in the NBA.
• Ben Davis has named Mark James as its boys basketball coach. He had been at Franklin Central for 26 seasons and won 345 games.
• Former South Knox golfer Adam Schenk has been named Big Ten freshman golfer of the year. He had a 73.3 stroke average for Purdue.
Tom Reck may be contacted by telephone at (812) 232-3231, by e-mail at email@example.com or by mail at 4284 South 5th Street, Apt. 3, Terre Haute, IN 47802.