Lifelong Sitkan and basketball star Herb Didrickson was honored at a sold-out banquet in Harrigan Centennial Hall on Sunday (2-24-13). On February 26 Didrickson and Buck Nystrom, the winningest coach in Alaska football history, will be inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the Anchorage Museum.
Herb Didrickson is a lifelong Sitka resident, regarded by many as one of the greatest basketball players ever produced in Alaska. His friend, Gil Truitt, has nominated Didrickson for the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame – for the third time. Truitt, and former Division I player and veteran college coach John Abell make the case for Didrickson’s selection. Hosted by KCAW’s Robert Woolsey.
Fans of Gold Medal Basketball in Southeast Alaska are hoping to see one of their greatest players named to Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. Herb Didrickson played for Sheldon Jackson School in Sitka in the mid-1940s. He later dominated the Gold Medal tournament as a member of Sitka’s legendary Alaska Native Brotherhood team. But people who watched Didrickson play – and those who played against him – say he was far more than a regional standout. Nominating documents to the Hall of Fame refer to Didrickson as one of the finest basketball players ever.
It’s hard to think of Herb Didrickson as anything but fast. Decades since he left the basketball court and the track, this respected Tlingit elder still elicits knowing smiles from those who saw him play, and those who continue to hear the stories of how the young Didrickson crossed cultural barriers through sports.