Some Hopkins County Basketball History
by: Bobby McDonald
"The Como Tigers did not enter the conference for they
were faced with several problems - lack of height, a dirt
court, bad weather, and other difficulties. To be a winning
team in 1943 will be a challenge, as we have lost nearly the
entire team to graduation. Graduating will be: Gene Land,
Truman Diamond, John Smith, Johnny Isom, Johnny Blann,
and Maurice Beville. Returning will be: W.D. Johnson, Dudley
Attaway, Buddy Sparkman, Jack Hux, Joe Taylor and Leroy Harris."
~ From the 1942 Como Tiger's Annual ~
"There wasn't any traveling to the basketball games
by bus, back in our day. We'd load up in the car of
a coach or teacher and head out to the game over
rough and muddy roads, many times getting
stuck and having to push our way out. Then, get
to the game and play on a dirt court, and you
had to be through before dark, because there weren't
any lights on the court!"
"The entire school would turn out for an afternoon basketball game
and we'd play while everyone watched. At Reilly Springs we played
Arbala, Como, Pickton, Yantis, and Black Oak to name a few
of the teams we played."
"The County Tournament was the highlight of the basketball
season in rural Hopkins County. We'd play all season long on
the dirt courts across the county in small places like Arbala
Reilly Springs, and maybe a long trip out to Cumby, and
qualify for the County Tournament that was played in
Sulphur Springs, in the old gym off Connally Street. It
was some tough basketball and if you won you'd done
"The girl's basketball court was first a three division court, made with two girls occupying each division,
two forwards, two centers, and two guards. Then it changed to a two division format with it eventually being played exactly like the boys."
~ From Arbala History
"I remember the first Christmas parade I ever saw in Sulphur Springs
was when we'd come into town to play in a tournament at the old
high school and it was during the early years of the war. There were
some soldiers coming in off the bus and we all watched the downtown
parade and then went to play ball."
"We were just a bunch of poor farm boys, but we were 'tougher than leather'
and basketball was about the only game around in our community, after
we got finished with cotton, so we were pretty good. But, there was other
boys just like us in the other communities, so the competition was great
to show the girls who was the best!"
"All of us aspired to be the basketball star in the
community, because you had the pick of the girls
and in our community, there weren't that many girls
to choose from!"
"We'd load up in the back of an old truck and
pull a tarp over us, and head out to a basketball
game in some little wide place in the road, play on
a dirt court, and it always made us happy to beat
the white boys. They didn't have much more than
us, but it still made us happy to beat them!"
"I'll never forget our basketball coach coming to
Reilly Springs, my sophomore year. He had a new
car and we thought he was a 'god.' Why we'd
do anything he asked us to do, because he'd take
us to the ball games and we got to ride in that car!"