BORN: JANUARY 17, 1951, JACKSON, MS
Tatum came from a family of basketball players, but he proved to be the best
and most successful of all. Tatum made his mark at Muskegon High School in
the late 1960s at the height of the Vietnam War, amazing fans with his
combination of speed, ball-handling, jumping and remarkable long-range
shooting. "For his size, I've never seen an athlete who is so proficient in
so many phases of the game," said then-Muskegon coach Mike Murphy after
Tatum earned Class A all-state honors in 1969.
Tatum, a 6-1 guard, averaged 22.4 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four steals per game in his senior year to earn first team all-state honors. He was fourth team all-state as a sophomore and second team all-state as a junior. He graduated as the Big Reds' all-time leading scorer with 1,250 points and a career average of 22.7 points per game.
Following high school, Tatum opted to attend the University of Southern Colorado (now known as Colorado State University – Pueblo). He was a four-year starter for the Indians and, despite playing in an era before the 3-point shot, remains the school's all-time leading scorer, with 2,143 career points, and is the sixth-leading rebounder. His 25.1 points-per-game average during the 1972-73 season is still tops in school history. While at Southern Colorado, he made all-conference all four years and was a two-time small college All-American before being drafted by the Carolina Cougars of the American Basketball Association. Tatum was among the first inductees into the Southern Colorado Basketball Hall of Fame and is considered by many as the finest basketball player in school history.
Muskegon Heights High School
1945-46-57 FOOTBALL TEAMS
Muskegon Heights football ruled the area - and the state - for an unforgettable 27-game stretch from Sept. 22, 1945 to Nov. 15, 1947. During that magical run, no team, not even the mighty and hated Muskegon Big Reds, could match the Tigers' wrecking crew under Coach Okie Johnson. Led by all-state selections Jim Dotson, Ed Petrongelli, Sonny Grandelius, Jim Howell, Tom Johnson, Frank Howell and Bob Stibitz, the season-ending battles with Muskegon were classics. The 1945 finale matched two unbeaten squads in a showdown for the state’s mythical state crown. The 7-6 win by the Tigers was witnessed by a crowd of 13,500. The Tigers of that era were known for defense, especially the 1945 team, which outscored its nine opponents by a combined score of 189-44 - allowing an average of less than five points per game, including four shutouts. The 1946 team had more close calls, outscoring its opponents 162-68 to capture its second consecutive state title. The amazing Tigers completed three years of perfection in 1947, outscoring their nine opponents, 147-54, earning a third successive championship.
1945 Muskegon Heights Tigers - Front Row (L to R): Dick Ghezzi, John Dudzik, Bob Ribesky, Doug Premo, Charles Votaw, Ed Petrongelli, Don Bartels. Second Row: Dorr Grover, Ray McLean, Bernard Timmer, Louis Kollar, Richard Kreifeldlt, Neil Frick, Everett “Sonny” Grandelius, Ron Zoratti, Ron Kinsman, Jim Norris. Third Row: Coach Oscar E. "Okie" Johnson, Joe Koteles, Stanley Elliot, Gerald Langlois, Robert Engel, Russell Malone, Eugene Hillard, Don Dahlquist, Robert Blackmer, Al Kushner, Ken Graves, Edsel Erickson, Assistant Coach C.P. Ziegler. Back Row:John Bollenbach, Kayle DePoy, Jim Dotson, Wilmer Williams, Bill Wansten, Paul Hulka, Robert Taylor, Jim Howell, Richard Hagen, Ed Sanocki, Larry Boone.
1946 Muskegon Heights Tigers - Front Row (L to R): Bob Johnson, Norbert Strobell, Robert Crevier, Shelly Baldwin, Herman Ivory, Bernard Timmer, Robert Graff, Ken Drake, Alan Courtright, Vern Plichta, John Campbell. Second Row: Jim Howell, Ray McLean, John Bollenbach, Ken Benson, Bill Wansten, Paul Anderegg, Everett “Sonny” Grandelius, Jim Norris, Earl Beam, Allan Kushner, Kayle DePoy. Third Row: Coach Oscar E. “Okie” Johnson, Bob Stibitz, Bob Blackmer, Jerry Heaton, Fred Moeller, Al Cater, Neil Frick, Bob Ribesky, Harold Hansen, Stanley Elliot, John Krol, Rudolph Shepherd, Assistant Coach Ernie Dahlberg. Back Row:Percy Stratton, Bill McGahee, Ray Carslake, William Cook, William Caughey, Art Craymer, Tom Johnson, Eugene Fisher, Robert Mitchell, Robert Flowers, Ken Graves, Clayton Borgman. Not Pictured: John Dudzik.
1947 Muskegon Heights Tigers - Front Row (L to R): Percy Stratton, Ray Carslake, Robert Mitchell, Al Cater, Art Craymer, Fred Moeller, Harold Hansen, Tom Johnson, Clayton Borgman. Second Row: Assistant Coach Del Firme, Herman Ivory, Shelly Baldwin, Robert Crevier, William Cook, Ken Drake, John Campbell, William McGahee, Bob Stibitz. Third Row: Coach Oscar E. “Okie” Johnson, Doug Jacobson, Bob Johnson, Vic Lane, Olis Hunter, Robert Sietsema, Don Kline, Lyle Shaw, Charles Zorn, Jack Bramble. Fourth Row: Bert Johnson, Don Cook, Frank Howell, George Rostar, Don Walters, John Nedeau, George Jurkas, John Gibbons, Dan Elliot, Carl Wright. Back Row: William Ostradick, Jack Venne, Clarence Schmidt, Doug Burns, Richmond, Harold Seegar, Robert Winteringham, Arnold Penn. Not Pictured:Lee Hartman, Ivan Plichta.