I think we all agree Gary was the best basketball player to come out of Brewer. Ricky and I still argue who was second! But there were quite a few things I did not know about Gary until recently. This being an Olympic year, I thought I would share with you.
First, Gary went to West Point. There he played for Mike Krzyzewski. In his four years he broke both the scoring and rebounding records for Army. He also played on our pre-Olympic traveling USA Basketball team. For the first time ever, outside teams were allowed into Russia for a round of tune up games. Gary was voted MVP for USA Basketball that year against fellow players who later played in the NBA, some being all stars. Does the name James Worthy or Adrian Dantley ring a bell? That was the level of players he was with. This is a pic of the team that played in Vilnius in 1979 as an Olympic warm-up. We boycotted those Olympics, or we might have seen him in Olympic action.
Gary still holds two Sun Belt Conference Tournament scoring records, is second in scoring at Army, is listed among the college players who had 2000 points and 1000 rebounds. He was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA, but in those days the military expected you to serve your duty - which Gary did.
OK, I knew of none of this until 2005. In 2005 Gary was inducted into the West Point Sports Hall of Fame. He was also named as the best basketball player for the last 100 years for Army basketball.
Excerpt from a West Point newsletter for 2005 Hall of Fame inductees
Gary Winton ’78 -- Men’s Basketball and Head Coach: Softball (1990).
By the time he received his West Point degree, Gary Winton had virtually rewritten the Army men’s basketball record book, establishing a dozen records on game, season and career levels. Winton led Army in both scoring and rebounding during each of his four varsity campaigns, and graduated as the program leader in scoring and rebounding.
I only played with Gary for one year and still think highly of him. We played again in a tournament when we were 39 years old. A two weekend fundraiser featuring each team through the years from Brewer. Gary, myself, Ricky Allen, Ricky Lennox, Verlon Davis, Van Houser made it back. Guess what - we won. It is still one of my fondest memories, whipping the 23 year olds in the final game. But that is a story for my grandkids. The older we get - the better I was!
This link is to the 2006-2007 West Point Basketball recruiting brochure
http://www.nmnathletics.com//pdf4/59494.pdf?SPSID=71786&SPID=4606&DB_OEM_ID=11100 see page 12
Do a Google search for "Gary Winton" & basketball and you can read for a long time.