I wouldn’t believe this story (or tell it) if I hadn’t heard it directly from Jimmie Hooks.
Mr. Hooks was one of my Dad’s closest high school friends, a successful business in DeRidder (Big D Corral and Hook’s) and a fine Christian man.
I’ll let him tell the story as I remember it:
His son, Duff, was a starter on one of DeRidder High’s strong basketball teams of the 1970’s. During these years, DeRidder had a dynasty and produced a long line of great players.
The Dragons, as DeRidder’s teams were known, were playing a district game in Alexandria with Alexandria Senior High, known to all as ASH and their mascot was the Trojans.
I’m substituting at ASH today as I write this story.
ASH was a newer school and at that time, mostly white. Their basketball team was average at best. During an earlier meeting in DeRidder, the Dragons had trounced the visiting Trojans.
As the girls’ game ended, and the boys teams warmed up, most fans (and probably the coaches and players) expected another easy DeRidder win.
Now, I was a teen and college student in the 70s, and I don’t believe there’s ever been a stranger decade. I always say the unrest of the late 60’s didn’t reach Louisiana until five years later. Of all of the strange things of that decade, streaking was the most bizarre.
It was celebrated in songs (Ray Stevens) skits, and stories. It’s hard to believe that young people would shed their clothes, wear a mask (or paper bag with eyeholes) and streak across a public venue au naturale.
That’s exactly what happened as the DeRidder and ASH boys’ team shot layups on their respective end of the court. From a side door, a paper-bag on head intrepid streaker entered the court at a full sprint.
Mr. Hooks said the streaker was definitely a male and had painted in large letters across his posterior, “ASH.” When he reached mid-court, he raised his arm and shouted, “Go, Trojans,” then resumed his flight from justice.
His accomplices were waiting with an open door at the diagonal exit, through which he sprinted out and into the night.
The effect on the crowd was electrifying, especially the ASH fans and players. Jimmie Hooks said they went wild. The ASH players (that could) went to dunking (an automatic technical in those days if the referees were present ) and the student section were hanging from the rafters.
The staid DeRidder fans (and even players) were shocked and seemingly struck off-balance by the streaker with ASH painted across his, uhm, behind.
It so fired up the ASH team that they upset the Dragons. Maybe, DeRidder was due a loss, and this was simply the night, but Mr. Hooks believed the streaker set the tone for a wild game that saw the home team come out on top in a wild loss.
I’m sure there’s no one still here at ASH that knows of this story.
I’ve always wondered if the streaker was eventually exposed (pun intended).
He’s probably some pot-bellied middle-aged insurance salesman that I saw eating boiled crawfish at Robbie G’s last weekend.
I doubt if he made a coach. If he didn’t, he retired with a record of 1-0. A record on the night he spurred to mighty Trojans of Alexandria Senior High to a mighty upset.