334 THE HISTORY OF WAKE FOREST COLLEGE
The Wake Forest team was led by two sophomores, Dickie Hemric
and Jack Williams. In the first round of the NCAA tournament that
followed, Wake Forest lost to Holy Cross 79-71 and took the
consolation game from Lebanon Valley 91-71. In that second game
Hemric scored twenty-nine points and set a new national two-year
scoring record with his 1,356 total. Greason was named Southern
Conference Coach of the Year.
In 1954, playing in the ACC, Hemric set a conference scoring
record with forty-nine points against Virginia, and eighteen days later,
in a game against Southern California in which he netted thirty points,
he broke college basketball's four-year record previously held by Jim
Lacy of Loyola in Baltimore. The Wake Forest star's career total was
2,587 points. In a special chapel program in his honor in March, 1955,
Hemric saw his jersey, number 24, retired. He was presented the ACC
trophy as Player of the Year for the second time, and the student body
gave him a set of golf clubs and an engraved plaque. His home town
of Jonesville had already given him a convertible automobile.
At the chapel program Coach Greason said he felt "like a pallbearer
at my own funeral." Horace "Bones" McKinney, who had joined
Greason's staff in 1952, declared flatly that Hemric was "the greatest
basketball player the State of North Carolina has ever produced." That
year Hemric was chosen for All-American teams by Look and
Collier's magazines, AP, UP, INS, NEA, and the Helms Foundation.
One of the ironies of his college career, much appreciated by the
Wake Forest community, was that Hemric had failed to get a
scholarship in basketball tryouts at Carolina, State, and South
Carolina. Hemric, a six-foot, six-inch center, would have to be listed
on any all-star team of Wake Forest basketball heroes.
ACC competition has always been fierce, especially in basketball,
and in March 1956, Conference Commissioner Jim Weaver fined both
Wake Forest and Carolina five hundred dollars because of a fracas
which erupted at the end of a game at Chapel Hill on February 15.
Both schools were reprimanded for the "unsportsmanlike conduct" of
certain of their players. In that season Greason had led his team to a
20-9 record and the finals of the ACC tourney, and he was named
ACC Coach of the Year for the second time in four years. (The 1953
designation was for the Southern Conference.)
On March 26, 1957, Greason was made assistant director of ath-
Previous Page Next Page