WC first met Jim Hayes on a basketball court. Hayes was the starting center for the Lathrop Malemutes; WC was a very skinny Junior Varsity player, just a few weeks away from washing out of even the JV team, and gave away some 60-70 pounds and six inches to Hayes, who was a mass of muscle. It was a pickup game. Hayes blocked WC’s first two jumpers, and had a soft, right-handed hook shot that was all but unstoppable. The one time WC was able to get a charging call, Hayes’ momentum knocked WC halfway across the court. Hayes came over and helped WC up, asking if everything was all right. He was that kind of guy.
Hayes led the Malemutes to the state championship game, losing to Ketchikan in overtime. An absolute gentleman, he made a point of shaking the hand and congratulating each member of the K-High team.
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