The aboriginal time Dan Bigg met Mike Kuhfeld, the two were affair for the boys tennis accompaniment singles appellation aback in 1968.
Fifty years later, the above La Porte and Indianapolis Broad Ripple players will allotment a cloister already again.
Bigg, a 7-5, 6-3 champ in the match, will be accustomed in ceremony ceremonies during today’s singles and doubles accompaniment championships at Park Tudor High School. He alone anticipation it was applicable that his above adversary and acquaintance for bisected a aeon be there, too.
“What do you apprentice from sports?” Bigg said Thursday. “It’s not aloof the dog eat dog competition, it’s the friendships you make, the bodies you meet. Tennis fosters a lot of team, but it’s additionally individual. Mike’s one of my actual best friends. When they asked me to do it, I told them I’d absolutely like it if Mike could be there, too.”
The aback adventure to Bigg’s victory, which capped a clash run of aught sets lost, was a bender with scarlet agitation beneath than three weeks afore the accompaniment clash during which he absent 18 pounds. The doctor told his grandmother that he shouldn’t play, but Bigg wasn’t activity to booty no for an answer.
“I said I accept to do it for my teammates,” he said of Steve Komp, Scott Richter and Tom Ivey. “I was the one who consistently got the accolades, but there’s no Dan Bigg acceptable a accompaniment championship afterwards them, or afterwards drillmaster Bob LeRoy. Our practices were tougher than 90 percent of our matches. I was appreciative to be a Slicer.”
The affiliation amid Bigg and Kuhfeld started that day in Indianapolis and alone blossomed from there. Both were recruited by Indiana State, which was in the action of affective to NCAA Division I in tennis, and both active to be Sycamores. Bigg went 19-6 as a apprentice and was actually on the aforementioned ancillary of the net at one point with Kuhfeld while in Terre Haute, teaming up in doubles. They helped ISU accomplish the NCAA clash as juniors, the aforementioned year Jimmy Connors won the civic singles appellation as a apprentice and headed anon to the pro ranks.
“When they went Division I, it was lots of exposure,” said Bigg, a three-time Junior Davis Cup player. “We were arena high-level tennis.”
Life took the two in altered admonition afterwards college, but their affiliation didn’t achromatize over years and miles. Kuhfeld afresh had hip backup and Bigg spent three canicule with him at his Carmel home afterward.
“That’s allotment of the message we’re aggravating to send,” Bigg said. “It’s about the sportsmanship.”
La Porte drillmaster Don Varda and a cardinal of players from both the boys and girls teams will accomplish the cruise to be on duke for the ceremonies. Bigg collaborated with IHSAA Sports Information Director Jason Wille on historical information on the Slicers’ 1968 aggregation title, which happened 50 years ago Friday, in beforehand of aftermost month’s ceremony anniversary at LeRoy Courts. Wille put the actual into a PDF for Bigg, who in about-face adapted it into book anatomy and broadcast it at that reunion.
“It’s stunningly beautiful, actual able-bodied done,” Bigg said. “We’re a allotment of history.”
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