WMU News

Payne named to Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame

March 21, 2004

KALAMAZOO--It's been nearly 40 years since standout point guard Vernon Payne left Elston High School in Michigan City, Ind., as the school's third all-time leading scorer and one of northern Indiana's best-ever high school basketball players.

His impressive record on--and off--the court will be highlighted at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 24, at Primo Banquet Hall in Indianapolis during the 2004 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Payne, now an associate vice president for student affairs at Western Michigan University, will join 13 other men who will be honored for their achievements and have their memorabilia showcased at the Hall of Fame Museum in New Castle, Ind.

After high school, where he was the first player to score 1,000 points, Payne landed a scholarship to Indiana University and continued to rack up awards and break records. In 1968 he earned a degree in speech pathology and audiology and was drafted by the Denver Nuggets.

Four years later, he earned a master's degree in counseling and guidance. He spent the next 18 years coaching college basketball at five universities--WMU, Indiana University, the University of Denver, Michigan State University and Wayne State University.

Payne's reputation as a team player continues. Today he serves on variety of nonprofit and civic boards, including the Michigan Higher Education Facilities Authority, Lakeside Treatment Center, Kalamazoo County Walk for Warmth, Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church and many others.

The Hall of Fame event is open to the public and tickets are $45 each. For information, call the Hall of Fame office at (765) 529-1891.

Media contact: Gail Towns, 269 387-8400, gail.towns@wmich.edu

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