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Artis, Issel and the Lady of the Ring
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We look back on the glory days of the ABA with former Kentucky Colonel teammates as fellow Hall of Famers Dan Issel and Artis Gilmore. Plus – Elliott & David go toe-to-toe with the Lady of the Ring - female ring announcer Amy Hayes.
Episode Segments:
Sports & Torts: The Lady of the Ring
Elliott and David step into the ring with the gorgeous Amy Hayes, who tells us how she became involved in the world of boxing, how the sport is changing, and the challenges of being a female in a male dominated sport.
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Sports & Torts: Artis Gilmore and Dan Issel
Artis talks about the honor of finally making the Hall of Fame, the transition from small town player to the pros, and the role of the true center in the NBA. Then, Dan Issel joins the conversation with his thoughts on the great players ABA, his & Gilmore’s Kentucky Colonels, and where his style of play would fit in today’s NBA.
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Guest(s) Appearing on this Episode
Amy Hayes
Boxing's most successful female ring announcer was born on a chilly November morning on the Detroit River at Wyandotte General hospital. only a few short miles from the Motor City, pre-mature and as stubborn as I am now I battled the croup and jaundice. From the beginning I was more than a hand-full! Mom says I wouldn't eat which is not a problem now. I weighed in at a scrappy 5 lbs. I was so little my dad put me in a shoe box. I love my parents and I would be lying if I said their lives didn't influence me. My dad taught me to be strong and get back up. Mom taught me to have guts. I don't think two people worked harder in their lives. They worked hard so I wouldn't have to. I'm so proud of what they did and where they came from. You see my entire family is from Eastern Kentucky where I had the absolute delight of spending most of my childhood years growing up there. I couldn't wait to get in the creek bed, lug coal into one of the coal burning stoves, or hear my dad tell me stories about when he was a little boy. Think "Stand by me" the movie. For the record my dad is among the best story tellers of all time! I loved my hillbilly upbringing with the character and texture of our family history. Really though, they left the hills of Kentucky and moved to Detroit all on their own. They got in line and interviewed to work at General Motors Corporation. My dad Morris retired at the age of 50 after 30 years of dedication as the Union Chairman for Saturn Corporation's World Headquarters in Troy, Michigan. My mom Freda worked long and hard hours sewing car seats. They put themselves in the path of opportunity and never quit even when things where really rough. I want my dad to know how proud I am of his accomplishments. In his thirty years at GM he never lost an election. I hope that that fact about him tells you something about me! He stood for something! He is what the Union is suppose to be. A balance between the rights of the workers and the Corporation. He taught me that your word is all you have and that integrity and character are everything.

Amy's Website

Dan Issel
Scoring was the name of Dan Issel's game. He averaged 33.9 points his senior season in college, then 29.9 and 30.6 his first two seasons in the American Basketball Association. He holds the ABA record for most points in a season, and he ranks fifth on pro basketball's all-time scoring list behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, and Moses Malone. Though a bulky 6'9", Issel was no prototypical big man. He lacked strength and jumping ability, leaving him ill-equipped for wrestling matches in the lane and helpless to block shots. Most of his points came from the high-post, where he drained countless jumpers over opponents either unwilling or unable to defend him 15-20 feet from the basket. Born October 25, 1948, in Batavia, Illinois, Issel became a phenom at the University of Kentucky, averaging 25.8 points and 13.0 rebounds in three seasons, but he never led the Wildcats past the regional finals of the NCAA Tournament. His last game, in 1970, was a loss to Jacksonville University, which featured center Artis Gilmore. Two years later, he and Gilmore became teammates in the ABA. Issel was coveted by both pro leagues, but he signed with the Kentucky Colonels. Sensational from the get-go, he edged Rick Barry for the ABA scoring title and was named co-Rookie of the Year. When Gilmore arrived for the 1971-1972 season, Issel moved to forward and set an ABA record with 2,538 points. After winning a championship with Kentucky in 1975, Issel was traded twice in three weeks, first to the Baltimore Claws, who folded, and then to the Denver Nuggets. He played 10 seasons in Denver, averaging more than 20 points a game seven times. The Nuggets advanced to the ABA Finals in 1976, losing to Julius Erving's New York Nets despite Issel's 30 points and 20 rebounds in Game 6. It was the last ABA game ever played; the Nuggets and three other ABA franchises joined the NBA for the 1976-1977 season. Issel ended his pro career in 1985 with 27,482 points. A favorite son in both Kentuckyand Colorado, he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Dan's Career Stats

Artis Gilmore
A star center during his two collegiate years at Jacksonville University, in Jacksonville, Florida, Gilmore led the Dolphins to the NCAA Division I championship game in 1970, where his team was beaten 80-69 by the University of California at Los Angeles Bruins. Gilmore remains the top player in rebounds per game in the history of NCAA Division I basketball. In the minds of many[who?], Gilmore was surpassed as an ABA star only by Julius Erving. Gilmore followed five All-Star seasons with the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA by becoming the first overall pick of the 1976 NBA dispersal draft, which was held after the ABA was disbanded, as four teams transferred to the NBA. In Gilmore's complete pro basketball career, he was an eleven-time All-Star, the ABA Rookie of the Year, and an ABA MVP, and he remains the NBA career leader for field goal percentage. Nicknamed "The A-Train", the 7' 2" (2.18 m) Gilmore once played in 670 consecutive games.After several unsuccessful attempts and years of wait, Artis was finally voted into the Hall of Fame on Monday, April 4, 2011.

Artis' Blog