NEW CASTLE – The Washington Hatchets will be honored with two more names on the Hall of Fame basketball banner in the Hatchet House this spring.
Both Craig Neal (1983) and Jerry Flake (1965) were selected to the 2022 team and will be honored at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s 60th Men’s Awards Banquet on Wednesday, March 23, 2022. The day’s events will include a reception at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame museum in New Castle that afternoon with a banquet that evening at the Primo Banquet Hall in Indianapolis.
Both players were selected for their accomplishments in high school ball and beyond and are part of a class that includes Purdue Coach Matt Painter, Ball State standout Ray McCallum and former Southridge coach Gary Duncan.
Craig Neal has been involved in the game at every level starting with his time at Washington High School. A 1983 Indiana All-Star after averaging 27.6 points per game and leading his 25-2 team to the semi-state finals, he totaled 1,440 points in his Hatchets career. At Georgia Tech, he set school records of 127 games played and 570 career assists as part of three NCAA Tournament teams and set the Yellow Jackets’ single-season assist record of 303 his senior year. Drafted in the 3rd round of the 1988 NBA Draft, he played with Portland, Miami and Denver and also spent time in the WBL and CBA, including the Fort Wayne Fury. A scout and assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors from 1994-2003, he was an assistant at the University of Iowa and University of New Mexico, was head coach of New Mexico from 2013-2017 and currently is associate head coach at the University of Nevada.
Jerry Flake earned all-state accolades in high school and All-American honors in college. Scoring over 1,100 points at Washington High School, he averaged 21.5 points per game as a senior in 1964-65. At Southwestern Louisiana, he totaled 2,058 career points earning 1967 NAIA All-American honors and 1968 and 1969 Small College All-American recognitions, while hitting 50.5% FG and 85.4% FT for his career. Showcasing his shooting prowess, he won both of the Great Indiana Shootout contests held at the New Castle Fieldhouse in 1986 and 1987, beating out numerous Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame inductees. Involved in teaching and coaching in Louisiana, Illinois, and North Daviess and Hagerstown high schools, he has been inducted into the Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame and Southwestern Louisiana Athletics Hall of Fame. He resides in Florida.
The rest of the inductees include Jerry Bass-Morristown-1958; Wayne Boultinghouse-Rockport- -1960; Napoleon Brandford-East Chicago Roosevelt-1970; Al Brown-Connersville-1959; Garth Cone-Pierceton-1965; Gary Duncan-Oakland City-1963; Tony Etchison- Noblesville-1991; Ray McCallum -Muncie Central-1979; Gary Merrell-Northwestern- 1964; Doug Mitchell-Hamilton Heights-1975; Matt Painter-Delta-1989; Bill Smith, Sr. -Indianapolis Wood- 1960; James Strickland-Owensville-1926; Clarence Walker-East Chicago Washington-1946; John Sherman Williams-Indianapolis Washington-1982.
Indiana Hall of Fame staff contributed to this story