FOR a fellow who was told in his junior year of high school that there was no room for him on the team that would become a Columbus High School legend, Vic Thixton has turned out OK.
In fact, that turndown by another CHS legend — varsity basketball coach Bill Stearman — just might have been what the slender guard needed to become something of a basketball legend himself.
Later this year Thixton will join an elite group of athletes at the University of Tampa in Florida where he will be inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame. It will be in recognition of his achievements as a player for the Florida school from 1964 to 1968.
Vic is pretty sure he wouldn’t be getting any of those accolades at the Oct. 18 hall of fame banquet had it not been for that rejection in 1962. It gave him another year with a coach he considers a guiding influence in his sports career and life — Don McDonald.
Back on the eve of the 1962-63 season, Thixton was pulled aside by Stearman and given the bad news that there was no room for him on the varsity roster.
“He told me that he had too many guards and that he would leave it to McDonald to decide whether I should play with the Bull Pups (the junior varsity team),” Thixton said earlier this week from his business office in St. Louis.
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