“When I played in junior high, Lee coached both teams (both seventh and eighth grade),” Wagoner said. “You can imagine what it would be like with 25 or 30 guys in a gym at the same time. You’d think it would be chaos, but it wasn’t. He was organized and knew what he was doing.” Now as a coach, Wagoner likes to think of the lessons he learned from Kavanaugh when it came to the little things of the sport.
“He always cared about details,” Wagoner said. “How to dribble the ball, how to make layins - or what he called crip shots. He had back-to-back undefeated teams. He had some good players, but that’s how good he was. We played Bedford one year in a tournament, and he went to scout Bedford before we played them. That’s how intense he was.” While noting intensity, Wagoner said he was also the kind of person, that never knew a stranger.
“We respected him, and we went out and played for him,” Wagoner said. “At the same time, he was the kind of guy who would smile, shake your hand and try to get to know you. I don’t think he ever met a stranger.” Lee’s family is basically from the rival Barr-Reeve area. Brothers Charles Albert and Louis are known as supporters and fans of the Vikings. The three brothers have played important roles in both programs, and communities.
Kavanaugh passed last week. Lines for the viewing often reached two hours.
He was a man respected not only for his dedication to basketball, but also to the Loogootee and Barr-Reeve communities.
“He was always involved with helping people. He was a special individual,” Butcher said. “He worked at his church and was always looking to help anyone he could. The entire community of Loogootee, and Barr-Reeve will miss him.
“We have all lost a good man, a good buddy.”