Boys basketball: Bowman’s Arthur Haggard III follows in his dad’s footsteps but on a different path
BY TOMMY WILLIAMS Post Tribune correspondent March 19, 2013 11:26PM
Bowman Academy's Arthur Haggard heads to the basket during the Class 2A regional finals against Ft. Wayne Bishop Luers Saturday night, March 9, 2013, at North Judson-San Pierre High School. Bowman won to advance to semi-state. | Michael Gard~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 21, 2013 6:53AM
GARY — Just like any other father, former Lew Wallace football standout Arthur Haggard wanted his son to follow in his footsteps.
And those footsteps would be tough to follow.
Granted, Dad did play high school hoops, but his reputation was made on the football field, where he was a two-time all-state running back/defensive back. He averaged 33 yards per kickoff return in the North-South All Star game and led Wallace to a sectional championship, the last one the Hornets have won.
And sure enough, it was Dad who handed his son his first ball.
Was it a football? No, actually, it was a rolled up sock. And little did Dad realize, his dreams of another Haggard in the family business were lost in the laundry room.
“While we were living in Tennessee, when I was folding clothes, I would always give him the laundry basket where the clothes were and a rolled-up sock and sit him in a corner and let him shoot baskets so he wouldn’t distract me while I was trying to get the clothes folded,” Haggard said.
“One day I was watching the NCAA Tournament while I was folding clothes and he was standing on the couch shooting baskets. Next thing you know he was jumping over a table onto the other couch and that’s when I knew he was going to be a basketball player.”
Both Dad and Bowman basketball fans will get over that football dream, though.
Arthur Haggard III has grown into one of the leaders of a team that lost all five starters from last season’s state finalist team, and now are one win over Linton Stockton away from winning the Class 2A title.
One of the major reasons why: Haggard’s accuracy as a shooter is just as good now as it was when his target was a laundry basket.
“He’s definitely a scorer,” Bowman coach Marvin Rea said. “Arthur is going to shoot the ball no matter what. He’s a tough kid who’s not going to shy away from taking the tough shots no matter the environment.”
Last week’s semistate against Tipton was a prime example of an environment that wasn’t quite favorable to the Eagles, but despite a large pro-Tipton crowd, Haggard nailed 20 points in the 67-64 Bowman win.
“After watching the guys play last year and make it to the state title game, it means a lot to me to help us make state this year,” Haggard said. “We came together as a team back in January and it shows how much we grew as a team last weekend.”
Not to say that Haggard was not a good football player. Far from it. According to his dad, Haggard, led his team to the Pop Warner Super Bowl in Disney World, scoring 26 touchdowns that season.
The year after, Haggard scored 20 TDs as he led his team to the quarterfinals.
Ah, but the son gave in to the power of the rolled-up sock.
“His passion was basketball,” the elder Haggard said. “And I am very proud of him.”
That would include off the floor where we finally find a “like father, like son” scenario.
While the elder Haggard was a good student (he was named the scholar athlete winner in the ’91 North-South All-Star game), his son has a 3.8 grade point average.
There’s one more basketball class to ace this season and it comes Saturday against Linton-Stockton (24-3), a team that also grades out pretty well, winners of nine in a row.
But the Miners have to do what other teams haven’t quite figured out yet: stop Haggard from helping Bowman win its second state title in four years.
“He’s the kind of kid you want on your team, he’s a good kid on and off the court, and an honor student, he can shoot and he can play defense,” Rea said. “His mom (LaToya, who was a volleyball and track star in college) and dad did a great job of raising him. He’s a joy to coach.”
And Dad agrees. Even if his son’s chosen sport isn’t quite the one he had in mind.
“I always tease my wife that he gets his brains from me and his athletic talent from you,” Haggard said. “He’s a low maintenance, humble, God-fearing young man. I can’t ask for a better son.”