It has been fifty long years after Louie Dampier, the ABA’s all-time leading scorer, graduated from Southport High School. On Friday night, when the Cardinals host Perry Meridian, Dampier will receive the ultimate recognition a school can give their athlete.
The number-32, which was worn by Dampier during his playing days at Southport, will be retired in the school’s gymnasium in-between the junior varsity and varsity game. Dampier, who was born in Indianapolis in 1944, went on from Southport to the University of Kentucky following his graduation.
“(Dampier) grew up idolizing Branch McCracken and the ‘Hurrying Hoosiers’,” said sports journalist Robin Miller. “IU kind of mind him a scholarship, but he felt like they kind of didn’t want him. Adolph Rupp came in and watched him play at Broad Ripple High School, I think he had 24 points in the first half. Rupp left at halftime and said ‘I want him’. So Louie became Pat Riley’s teammate, and a two-time All-American at UK.”
Dampier led the Wildcats to a 1966 runner-up finish in the National Championship game, ultimately losing to Texas Western College for the title.
Following his college career Dampier was signed by the Kentucky Colonels in 1967, and played in the ABA until the league folded in 1976. Dampier won the ABA title in 1975 with the Colonels, was a seven-time All Star, and ended up being the league’s leader in games played (728), minutes played (27,770), points scored (13,726), and assists (4,044).