I saw a name recently: Bailey Howell. Brought back memories for me from 1966. I doubt anyone who reads this will know who he is. He is in the NBA Hall of Fame. In fact, he was signed and played for 5 years with the Detroit Pistons and one of their star players. He was the second player chosen in the draft that lead to his signing with the Pistons. He went on to play for the Baltimore Bullets and Boston Celtics where he won 2 NBA Championships. He spent 12 years in the NBA before retiring in 1971, scoring over 18,000 points.
I met him while living in Baltimore in1966. I was a starter on my high school team and obviously very much into basketball. How did I meet Bailey Howell? My family attend a small Church of Christ on the west side of Baltimore. Churches of Christ were not too numerous in Baltimore in the ‘60s. The church was about 75 in attendance. We didn’t have a building but met in a rented facility. The church has grown since I left and today is known as the Westside Church of Christ – and, they do have a building today. It was at a Thursday night Bible Study. He came to worship with his wife and two small daughters. He was a member of the church and the Bullets had no game. He attend the University Park church while playing I Baltimore. We had our Bible study on Thursday night because of our rental situation. Since he could not make it to Wednesday night at his home congregation, his family visited with us at our Thursday study.
It made an impression. An NBA star player coming to church on a Wednesday night. It made me glad that Wednesday nights were a part of our family routine. Bailey Howell return to Mississippi after his retirement. Today he serves as an elder in the church there. The Bailey Howell Award is given annually to the best college player in the state of Mississippi. His number #52 was retired by Mississippi State University where he played his college ball.
He’s probably one of the few, if not the only, Hall of Fame player to quote the Bible in his acceptance speech when inducted into the Hall of Fame. He quoted from Proverbs 31 and thanked his wife for standing beside him during his career.
So, join us Wednesday nights. You never know who might show up?