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Cardinal Connections in Indiana Basketball HOF

The Ball State men’s basketball program was well represented recently at the 2013 Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame awards banquet.

Former players Bob Heady and Dan Palombizio were inducted into the hall of fame during the March 20 ceremony, as was former assistant coach Carl Meditch. Additionally, former player Chandler Thompson was honored as a member of the hall of fame’s 2013 Silver Anniversary Team.

Heady played two seasons for the Cardinals from 1962-64, averaging 10.1 points per game for his Ball State career. He helped the Cardinals to the NCAA College Division Postseason. As a high school player, Heady scored more than 1,100 points at Frankton before graduating in 1960. He later spent 29 years coaching high school basketball at Griffith, Wawasee, Shenandoah and Carmel. He led both Shenandoah and Carmel to the state finals.

Palombizio, a two-time honorable mention All-American at Ball State, owns the Cardinals’ single-season scoring record with 762 points in 1984-85. His scoring average that year ranked third nationally. He helped Ball State to its second-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 1986. Palombizio was the 1981 Indiana Mr. Basketball at Michigan City Rogers High School, where he scored more than 2,000 career points and led the state in scoring and rebounding as a senior. He was eventually drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers.

Meditch served as a Ball State assistant coach for four years from 1970-74. During that time, he also served as head coach of the Cardinals’ freshman and junior varsity teams. He left Ball State in 1974 to become the head coach at Juniata College. As a high school player, Meditch led the city of Indianapolis and Marion County in scoring during his senior season. He was an all-state selection who went on to play at DePauw. He later coached nine seasons at Tech, including two as head coach, before joining the Ball State staff.

Thompson, who graduated 25 years ago from Muncie Central High School, went on to letter three years at Ball State and ranked among the top 10 in school history in points (1,219) and rebounds (534) when he concluded his career. Each year, the Hall of Fame selects a Silver Anniversary Team to commemorate the top high school seniors in the state from 25 years earlier.

Thompson’s Ball State teams played in the postseason all three years, including the Cardinals’ run to the 1990 NCAA Sweet 16. At Muncie Central, Thompson was an all-state selection and an Indiana All-Star who finished third in the state's Mr. Basketball voting as a senior. He helped the Bearcats to a 28-1 record and a state championship as a senior in 1988.
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