Just some thoughts:
THE SPLENDID SPLINTER
If you are looking at this picture, don’t laugh. Really don’t laugh.
I think I could get a congregation of many others to say he was
one of the all time best shooters of the basketball to ever play in Indiana. His name Jimmy Rayl 6’1 138 pounds soakin” wet.
Rayl played high school ball in Kokomo, Indiana. The Kokomo Kats. Yes, Kats, not Cats. Rayl was simply something else. Today he would have put Vitale into a comma. He would have simply left Vitale speechless.
Take my word for it. Personally I think he had the greatest range of any of the great players. Yes, that includes Oscar, Rick Mount, Larry Bird you name it. I said range. Oscar never shot that far from the basket, Coach Ray Crowe would not have permitted that range from his team. Rayl would launch it from the parking lot. He was hard to guard cause you never knew when he as going to let it fly. Cross the time line, maybe its gone.
Old timers still talk about a high school game played in New Castle, Indiana in the late 1950s’. (Which by the way today has the largest seating high school gym in the country 9000 plus) They called that game the Church Street Shootout.
On this night Rayl scored 49 points but he was out scored by New Castle guard Ray Pavy. Folks who were there still talk about it as the greatest shoot-out between two players. Ray hit 18 of 36 for 50% and Pavy hit 23 of 39 for 59 % Note: no three points shots back then. I said no-three pointer.
Rayl went on to be a two time All American 1962-63 at Indiana University. If you ever were at a Indiana game when Rayl was playing you would never forget. Twice during his career at IU he scored 56 points. One night he hit a last second 25 footer to beat Minnesota 105-104. That night he also scored 56 points. He was voted among the fifteen former IU players as a member of the Hoosier’s all century team. Remember no three point scoring back then.
The say looks can be deceiving. That was Rayl. He may have looked like he needed a good meal but he could sure eat your lunch at anytime.
He truly was one of the most exciting players to ever play Indiana high school basketball. Sadly Rayl passed away January 20, 2019 at the age of seventy-seven.
June 27, 2019
Posted July 8, 2019