The annual Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s annual basketball tournament has come a long ways, baby.
Roll the calender back to 1961, a year in which the famed Mickey Mantle-Roger Maris tandem gave fans of the New York Yankees and major league baseball a thrill a day with their pursuit of Babe Ruth’s home run record.
But on a local, regional and state level, there was another historic moment in the sports world.
That was the inaugural year of what is now known as the LHSAA’s championship tournament in basketball.
GRAMBLING — Aaron James was in “rare air” as an NBA draftee in 1974.
The former Grambling State University star, who was announced Saturday as a member of the 2012 class of inductees for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, was one of a select few of players drafted in that year who finished with a double-digit scoring average during their pro careers.
Of the 36 players selected in the first two rounds of the 1974 draft, James was one of only 15 who closed out his NBA stay with a scoring average of more than 10 points per game.
The New Orleans native who prepped at Cohen High School before joining the then Fred Hobdy-guided G-Men averaged 10.8 points during his 356 games as an NBA player.
With a couple of lengthy first-quarter scoring drives, the Ruston Bearcats played keep away from the Tarpons’ offense, quelling the quick start South Lafourche had frustrated opponents with all season.
In Friday’s Class 5A bi-district playoff game, it was the Tarpons that became frustrated as the Bearcats’ defense never let South Lafourche find any offensive rhythm in a 28-13 win at Ralph Pere Field at South Lafourche Memorial Stadium.