The man in the green jersey on this week's cover should be easily recognizable to followers of pro basketball, especially those of Boston. He is, of course, Frank Ramsey, University of Kentucky ('54), nowadays of the Celtics. Some of the Ramsey finesse illustrated on pages 57-63—much of it controversial and candidly admitted by Ramsey for the first time—may be educational even to referees.
The other fellow on the cover, in the white jersey, is our own Frank Deford, Princeton ('62), and his basketball fame is admittedly more local: All-Baltimore schoolboy forward in 1957, Princeton squad as a sophomore. Deford turned in his suit when it became clear to him that he could not successfully divide his time between basketball and the chairmanship of the Daily Princetonian. Today he is a not untypical SPORTS ILLUSTRATED staff writer—someone whose playing-field credentials are part of his reporting credentials.
When Frank Ramsey agreed to show us his techniques for drawing opposing players into fouls, neither the magazine nor Ramsey could think of a better man to cover the story than 6-foot-4 Frank Deford. "Covering" it also meant playing straight man for Ramsey and the photographer-artist, and being suckered into a succession of pushing fouls, blocking fouls, hacking fouls and similar gaffes that will make Deford, a fastidious type, wince when he sees himself all over again in the illustrations.
Deford and his fellow writers and editors at SPORTS ILLUSTRATED have assembled some 30 additional pages of basketball reporting and forecast in this special issue. Picking the 20 top college teams in the nation, out of the hundreds of college teams playing the game this season (see Scouting Reports, pages 43-54), involved weeks of travel, observation and correspondence with coaches. We gave special weight, in interviews with coaches, to those teams that coaches respect most in their own regions—instead of asking them, as some conventional sports polls and surveys do, to be universally informed about the U.S. scene. Our thanks here to a list of cooperating coaches too long to name.
December 9, 1963
But four coaches we must name: Jack Gardner of Utah, Tex Winter of Kansas State, Gene Gibson of Texas Tech, Bones McKinney of Wake Forest. These had the rare grace to let our magazine come along on "live" recruiting visits to the homes of some much-sought-after high school stars. Go Get 'Em, Coaches, beginning on page 82, can be put down as fresh revelation about people who recruit and people who are recruited.
People, indeed, are the most durable subject we know, and PEOPLE is the title of the new department that begins this week on page 64. Our added department will take advantage of an old Time Inc. maxim: names make news. The names in this case will be famous ones of sport found making news outside their natural habitats, or famous folk not ordinarily associated with sport who happen to venture into SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's always magnetic field.