Wilson Scott Jr. ’73 transferred to WCU in 1971 and quickly impressed Catamount basketball fans with his talent, using his 39-inch vertical leap to pull down 395 rebounds that first season, a mark that continues to tie him for fifth in WCU single-season records.
In fact, despite early knee trouble, Scott managed 765 rebounds and 1,000 points in his three-year career at WCU, numbers that give him the eighth and 39th spots respectively in these categories in the WCU record books. In 1972 – the year Scott helped the Catamounts win the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics district tourney and advance to the national championships – the yearbook described him as “the man who always seems to excite WCU fans” and who kept “many games alive with his long jumpers from the corners and sky-scraping taps.”
What Catamount fans probably didn’t know was that Scott made history before ever arriving in Cullowhee as a member of the basketball team at Alfred Ely Beach High School in Savannah, Ga. In 1967, with Scott averaging 14 points and eight rebounds as a junior, the Bulldogs won the Class AAA state championship in the first year that schools for black students were allowed to compete in the Georgia High School Association tournament, bringing Savannah its first state basketball title in more than 20 years. Scott “was a member of one of the most talented and courageous teams in Savannah’s rich and illustrious basketball history,” exalts the website of the Greater Savannah Athletic Hall of Fame. In May, the hall of fame welcomed Scott into its ranks.
Induction was “a great honor and privilege,” Scott told the Savannah Morning News. “I take great pride in being remembered as a member of the 1967 state championship team because I was among such great players,” he said. “It was awesome to reach that apex as a member of a high school team.”