WASHINGTON — While everyone in Indiana certainly knows the story of the Zeller brothers and the impact they have had on Washington, several sets of brothers once dominated the basketball landscape in Daviess County.
Madisons, Steimels, Stallmans, and others made Washington Catholic the envy of small school programs across the state in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Today, the greatest of those brother combinations will be recognized during the Indiana/Kentucky All-Star game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, as 1993 WC graduate Toby Madison will return with his teammates from that season, and will be honored in a reunion ceremony.
Along with winning a Regional championship in 1991, another Sectional championship in 1993, playing in two NCAA tournaments at South Alabama, and leading the state in scoring in 1993 with a 29.9 point per game clip, Madison says his Indiana All-Star experience is one of the highlights of his athletic life.
“Coach (Michael) Adams told me to never forget where I came from, and I was so proud to represent Washington Catholic along with my family and friends. I grew up dreaming of being an Indiana All-Star, and so many of those folks helped me get to that moment.”
The 1993 Indiana All-Star team was unique in a variety of senses. It featured multiple players from southwestern Indiana, including Jasper’s (and later St. Louis Cardinal and Cincinnati Red) Scott Rolen and White River Valley’s Matthew Graves.
It also witnessed a first in the state of Indiana. Mr. Basketball Sherron Wilkerson of Jeffersonville quit the team in the locker room after the first game, in which the Indiana All-Stars were dealt a 17-point defeat.
“I think we were just surprised he walked away from such an honor,” Madison said. “We felt pretty low after that first defeat, but I do believe it allowed us to become closer as a team.”
In the second game, which was played at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, the Indiana coaching staff made a couple of changes. Madison and Rolen were each inserted into the starting lineup, and Graves played a substantial role off the bench. The results were impressive. Indiana turned the tables completely, and thumped the Kentuckians 107-89.
“That was really neat, and it was really a first. Three players from rural, southwestern Indiana had never made the team at the same time before.”
Tonight when the 1993 team is introduced, Madison says two things will be on his mind. The WC community from that era, and the relationship with his brothers and how they helped him develop as a player.
“My two older brothers meant the world to me. Ty was older (five years), but he was my basketball buddy. Travis (a 1991 WC graduate) was a teammate, and I got more tough love from him than anything. But overall, the WC community was so unique at that time in that the elementary and middle school coaches were so connected to the high school staff. From the time I was in the second grade, I only dreamed of being a WC Cardinal.”
Madison now makes as many trips back to Indiana as he can. He and his wife Jennifer (formerly Wirtz, a former Barr-Reeve and Northern Kentucky volleyball standout) have a son (Cameron), and a daughter (Brenlyn), and his job in the pharmaceutical industry keeps him busy.
“I always love to come back and watch high school basketball. The Washington/Barr-Reeve, or Barr- Reeve/Loogootee games now give me chills. It reminds me of when I played.”
The Indiana All-Stars take on Kentucky tonight at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The girls game begins at 6 p.m. and the boys game will follow.