Professional sports leagues, college sports and even individual sports like tennis, golf and skiing all have hall of fame museums.
Heck, even sports that some people don’t consider sports have them.
For example, want to learn more about freshwater fishing and the best freshwater fishermen of all time? Head up to Hayward.
Interested in the history of skateboarding? Head west, to Southern California.
You get the point.
But what about high school basketball?
Well, there’s not a national museum for that, and around the country, there’s not many states that have one, either.
But as of this weekend, there will be one in Wisconsin.
“Now,” JustAgame Fieldhouse owner Dave Royston said, “high school basketball has a home.”
And it’s right here in Wisconsin Dells, too — in fact, it’s at JustAgame.
“And hopefully it will stay forever,” Royston added.
First thing’s first, though: a grand opening.
Which the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Museum — as it’s officially called — will hold on Friday and Saturday at JustAgame.
The festivities will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday with a game between current professionals who played their high school careers in Wisconsin and an all-star team from the Closed Gym League in Milwaukee.
Notable players expected to play for the team of current professionals include former Wisconsin Heights and University of Wisconsin star forward Mike Wilkinson, as well as former Wisconsin Dells standout Brant Bailey.
Then on Saturday morning, things will get started again at 10 a.m. when a pair of women’s all-star teams — featuring women who competed in past WBCA all-star games — square off.
After that, Milwaukee Bucks mascot “Bango” and the Bucks Rim Rockers will put on a trampoline dunking show, before two men’s all-star teams of former WBCA all-stars play each other.
Notable among players expected to play in that game is Portage High School graduate Louis Hurd, who won a Division III national championship in college at UW-Stevens Point.
Also playing in that game will be Tim Jarmusz (Oshkosh West), Roy Boone (Madison East) and Brett Valentyn (Verona), who all continued their careers at Wisconsin.
Finally as part of the grand opening festivities will be a dedication ceremony on Saturday night, with Bucks television announcer Jim Paschke serving as the master of ceremonies.
As far as what to expect if you make the visit to the WBCA Hall of Fame Museum this weekend, here’s a list of some of the bells and whistles:
n A “history wall” featuring some of the most impactful players, teams and stories in Wisconsin high school basketball history.
n Team pennants representing all of the state champions in state history.
n Team jerseys representing approximately 250 of the teams in the state, with the goal of eventually having a jersey for every team in the state.
n Displays representing: all of the approximately 500 members of the WBCA Hall of Fame; career coaching and scoring leaders; all of the players who scored 1,000 or more points during their career; all of the coaches with 300 or more wins in their career; all of the players who have been named Mr. and Miss Basketball; and current Divisions 1-5 boys and girls champions, coaches of the year and players of the year.
In addition, there is a display documenting the WBCA’s long partnership with the Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (MACC) Fund, a charitable organization that has received more than $2 million from the WBCA as a result of the WBCA’s annual charity all-star games featuring the best seniors in the state.
It no doubt is a shrine for fans of high school basketball in Wisconsin, and it’s one Royston envisioned having at JustAgame when the facility opened in January of 2006 as a premier venue for basketball and volleyball leagues and tournaments.
“I always thought it would be a good place for it,” Royston said.
So he made his pitch to the WBCA’s board of directors.
“And it didn’t take long,” he added of the WBCA’s decision to move its hall of fame here.
In fact, what the WBCA has now at JustAgame pales in comparison to what it had at its previous home — the UW Fieldhouse — or what it was offered by the Kohl Center.
At the Fieldhouse, all the WBCA had were plaques representing its inductees — who are chosen annually and honored at a banquet in early autumn, and this year will include former Wisconsin Dells boys basketball head coach Jack Capelle.
Meanwhile, all the Kohl Center was offering, according to Royston, was about 50 feet of space along one wall in the concourse area, not for a very low price.
So here the WBCA came.
And here the organization will celebrate it’s new home this weekend.
In addition to all the all-star games and the show by the Milwaukee Bucks Rim Rockers will be a cookout style lunch on Saturday, contests for kids, a silent auction, and prize giveaways.
Admission for Friday’s game is $5 for adults and $2 for children, and for Saturday, it’s $7 and $4 and includes the lunch.
And on Saturday, any WBCA members or former WBCA all-stars get in free.
“It’s amazing, to tell you the truth,” Royston said of the WBCA’s commitment, and the final product. “They did a great job.”