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  1. #1
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    LaTech We've lost one of our legends - Lanky Wells

    I'm so upset about this I can't write anything yet, but I wanted to get the word out.

    Mike McConathy called me this morning about one of our teammates of the 1976 SLC Championshp team. Lanky suffered from an apparent heart attack on Monday and drove himself to the Emergency Room. Doctors put in two stints, but during last night he suffered a second fatal attack.

    From O.K. "Buddy" Davis:
    Have learned some sad news this morning. Former Louisiana Tech University basketball star Lanky Wells has passed away. He suffered a heart attack early this morning. More than being one of the top ranking players in Bulldogs ' history, Lanky was a tremendous human being with an unmatched kindness.
    Let's all remember how he enriched so many lives. Keep his family and loved ones in your prayers. OKD.

    From NSU SID Doug Ireland:
    Lanky was a beautiful person. He came to NSU and was a student coach with his college teammate, Mike McConathy, to finish his college degree about 10 years ago. He was such a role model for our players. He gave the most powerful prayers after games. After he graduated, he made many, many long drives from his home in Arkansas to support his dear friend Opie and the NSU team. I know he loved his Tech teammates and friends in a powerful way. Buddy, you put it perfectly.

    Lanky at last year's Legends reception:


    Louisiana Tech University
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  2. #2
    Administrator & 2006 Men's Progressive Bracket Champion Dwayne From Minden has a reputation beyond reputeDwayne From Minden has a reputation beyond reputeDwayne From Minden has a reputation beyond reputeDwayne From Minden has a reputation beyond reputeDwayne From Minden has a reputation beyond reputeDwayne From Minden has a reputation beyond reputeDwayne From Minden has a reputation beyond reputeDwayne From Minden has a reputation beyond reputeDwayne From Minden has a reputation beyond reputeDwayne From Minden has a reputation beyond reputeDwayne From Minden has a reputation beyond repute Dwayne From Minden's Avatar
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    Re: We've lost one of our legends - Lanky Wells

    I hope we have a moment of silence for him Saturday night prior to tip off...
    ''Don't be a bad dagh..."

  3. #3
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    Re: We've lost one of our legends - Lanky Wells

    Very sad news. Lanky Wells was far too young to die from this. Godspeed to him and his family.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Tech77 has a reputation beyond reputeTech77 has a reputation beyond reputeTech77 has a reputation beyond reputeTech77 has a reputation beyond reputeTech77 has a reputation beyond reputeTech77 has a reputation beyond reputeTech77 has a reputation beyond reputeTech77 has a reputation beyond reputeTech77 has a reputation beyond reputeTech77 has a reputation beyond reputeTech77 has a reputation beyond repute Tech77's Avatar
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    Re: We've lost one of our legends - Lanky Wells

    Wow. Lanky was the most highly-recognized incoming freshman on the basketball team my freshman year. He, Mike McConathy, Elliott Lawrence and Jim Wooldridge provided the backbone of some good basketball teams I had fun watching during my student days. RIP, Lanky.
    Good old Memorial Gym

  5. #5
    Champ dawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond repute dawg80's Avatar
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    Re: We've lost one of our legends - Lanky Wells

    So sad to hear. Really enjoyed watching him play, although only got to see him in person his senior year (my freshman year at Tech). Part of a very talented team that struggled to finish 13-13 that year.

  6. #6
    Progressive King of 2011 Dawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond repute Dawgpix's Avatar
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    Re: We've lost one of our legends - Lanky Wells

    From Buddy's Facebook page:

    Former Louisiana Tech University basketball stars Mike McConathy and Lanky Wells had a special friendship that lasted more than 40 years. Wells passed away this morning after suffering a heart attack. Here's a pic from earlier this week when McConathy went to Arkansas to make a visit.
    Attachment 13845


    (The following story about former Louisiana Tech basketball star Mike McConathy and his longtime, special friendship with Lanky Wells was written by O.K. Davis for the Ruston Daily Leader in the early 2000's).

    *
    *
    *
    * By O.K. Davis buddy@rustonleader.com
    *
    * The friendship began back in the mid-1970s.
    * More than 30 years later, it’s stronger than ever.
    * Mike McConathy and Lanky Wells were teammates and roommates when they were both members of the Louisiana Tech University basketball program.
    * Their careers overlapped, beginning in 1974 and ending in 1977.
    * Afterwards, McConathy and Wells entered different professions.
    * But their friendship and respect for each other never wavered, the two constantly staying in contact with each other and getting together whenever an opportunity presented itself.
    * Now, John Michael McConathy and Lawrence Wells are back on the same team.
    * McConathy is in year No. 10 as head coach at Northwestern State University, having guided the Demons to nationally-prominent success —
    * upsets over highly-favored foes in the NCAA playoffs among the more noteworthy achievements.
    * Last fall, he reunited with Wells by bringing him on as a student manager while the latter worked to complete his undergraduate degree at the Natchitoches-based school.
    * "Three or four years ago, I told Lanky we needed to get this done, that he needed to finish his degree and I was going to do everything I could to help him," McConathy recalled. "Then last year, the state began a new program (CALL) to help individuals fulfill their need to complete a college degree
    * "The timing couldn't have been better because it was an opportunity where we could help each other. He could complete his degree and I needed someone on my staff who could play an important role in the moral and spiritual values of our players. Lanky was the perfect person for it."
    * So late in the summer of 2008, the phone rang at Wells' home in Pine Bluff, Ark.
    * "John Michael said, 'Lanky, you need to come down here on June 26',"
    * Wells remembered about the conversation. "He told me about the opportunity that was there to finish the work I needed to start doing to get my degree and that he wanted me to help his team. It was as if God had called. Basketball has been my life-long love and I had been
    * away from it too long and had missed it tremendously. It's been just great, being given the opportunity to get back in basketball. It’s all because of my friend John Michael. My friend was there again."
    * Wells had endured a long hiatus from basketball, one that began as a youngster growing up in Little Rock and emerging into one of the state's best high school players ever. He was a two-time All-American at Little Rock's famous Central High, which became the blueprint for
    * desegregation in the mid-1950s. As a senior, he was the Arkansas Athletics Association Player of the Year after helping guide his team to two consecutive state championships.
    * Then on to Tech, where he and McConathy helped the Bulldogs win a Southland Conference championship in 1976.
    * During the 1975-76 and 1976-77 seasons, both were the lone Tech players who received All-SLC honors. McConathy was an honorable mention Associated Press All-American and Wells a third unit Street and Smith Basketball Yearbook All-American during the 1975-76 season.
    * Today, you can find their names still ranked high among the all-time leading scorers in Bulldogs' history, McConathy in the No. 2 slot
    * (2,033 points and 20.7 average) and Wells at No. 9 (1,608 points and 16.4 average).
    * "I had never seen a white guy shoot or play like John Michael," Wells said. "He was my man ever since that first year at Tech, when we went out on the floor for the first time together."
    * McConathy, who averaged 20-plus points a game during his final two years and capped off one of the most remarkable careers in school history with a 27.5 mark, was oftentimes kidded by teammates about wanting to shoot every time he touched the basketball.
    * Laughed Wells: "Heck, I sure didn't care. I never had a problem with it. I knew and everybody else knew he would probably be shooting it, but it gave me another chance to get a rebound."
    * Wells got plenty of those, too, as a Bulldog. His 674 boards ranks No. 13 on the school's all-time list.
    * More than clicking together on the court, McConathy and Wells jelled off of it, too.
    * "In the early years, he roomed down the hall from me in the dorm,'' McConathy said. "The friendship started growing and I had the utmost respect for him because I knew the reputation he had brought from
    * Arkansas as a great high school player.
    * "During our senior year, we roomed together on the road. After our careers ended at Tech, we stayed in touch with each other. I knew he was a friend who I could pick up the phone and call any time and he would be there to help out."
    * That the friendship between McConathy and Wells has lasted so long isn't surprising to Scotty Robertson, who coached both while they are at Tech.
    * "Mike is one of those guys who takes the time to call people up and check on them," he said. "He always stayed in touch with Lanky after they left Tech. He's been so good for Mike and so good with the players. Lanky is just a fine man and the perfect fit for Mike and the team."
    * While McConathy embarked on a coaching career, Wells played on the European professional circuit for a while before the U.S. Army.
    * "I played for the military post team, then came back home and began working for the postal service," Well said. "I retired from there in 2006."
    * In March of 2006, Wells underwent surgery for a neck injury that he had suffered.
    * "I had slipped on some ice and suffered two broken vertebrae in my neck," he said. "After I went through the surgery, I was at my lowest point in life. I was missing being away from basketball and wanted to get back in it someway. Other than being around when my sons were playing, I wasn't involved with the game anymore."
    * So when McConathy called and told him of the opportunity that awaited
    * him in Natchitoches, Wells felt like he had just picked the winning lottery numbers.
    * "When I went down there last June and walked into their locker room, well, my feet seemed to raise a foot off of the floor," he said. "I just took a deep breath and thought, 'Basketball is flowing through my blood again.' It was a tremendous feeling."
    * Wells, who has been an ordained Baptist deacon since 1995 at the Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Little Rock, has been a major rock of support for McConathy and Demons' players.
    * "He's as gifted a person and as talented an athlete as I've ever been
    * around," McConathy said. "From a spiritual end and his strong beliefs in doing the right thing, Lanky is a tremendous influence for our players. He's a big, massive person with a strong and gentle heart. I know, for me personally, he's been such a calming influence."
    * Had Barack Obama not come along in American history when he did, Wells
    * just might have become the first African-American to be the leader of our country.
    * "He could have run for President of the United States and won,"
    * McConathy said. "Nobody is better at people skills than Lanky. They're
    * just unbelievable. That's always been one of his strong suits."
    * Since arriving at NSU, Wells has sometimes attracted President-like attention.
    * "We had a game televised by ESPN earlier and here's Lanky dressed to the nines and sitting in back of our bench," McConathy said.
    * "Everybody kept wondering who he was, but that's the kind of attention he gets because of how an imposing and personable figure that he is."
    * Oftentimes after a game, when McConathy needs to someone to hear him out on how things went, he will immediately turn to Wells.
    * "He's the perfect one to confide in and talk to," he said. "It means so much to have someone like him who I can turn to and bear my soul.
    * He's such a calming influence."
    * Wells has discovered only one problem with his first season back in basketball.
    * "It's just gone by too fast," he said.
    * That's what being back with a longtime friend and the game he loves can do.
    Louisiana Tech University
    Flagship of the University of Louisiana System

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Tech77 has a reputation beyond reputeTech77 has a reputation beyond reputeTech77 has a reputation beyond reputeTech77 has a reputation beyond reputeTech77 has a reputation beyond reputeTech77 has a reputation beyond reputeTech77 has a reputation beyond reputeTech77 has a reputation beyond reputeTech77 has a reputation beyond reputeTech77 has a reputation beyond reputeTech77 has a reputation beyond repute Tech77's Avatar
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    Re: We've lost one of our legends - Lanky Wells

    Quote Originally Posted by dawg80 View Post
    So sad to hear. Really enjoyed watching him play, although only got to see him in person his senior year (my freshman year at Tech). Part of a very talented team that struggled to finish 13-13 that year.
    Going into the season there was lots of talk about that team making the NCAA tournament. The way it turned out was definitely a disappointment.
    Good old Memorial Gym

  8. #8
    Progressive King of 2011 Dawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond repute Dawgpix's Avatar
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    Re: We've lost one of our legends - Lanky Wells

    LOUISIANA BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME
    LAWRENCE "LANKY" WELLS
    Louisiana Tech University
    Player – 1973-77
    Inducted – 2007
    Wells was a three-time first team All-Southland Conference selection. He was also a third team All-Louisiana selection in 1977. He finished his career as the fourth leading scorer and seventh leading rebounder in Louisiana Tech history, with 1,608 points for a 16.4 average and 674 rebounds for a 6.9 average. He averaged 18.0 points and 7.3 rebounds in 1977, 18.6 points and 7.4 rebounds in 1976, and 18.4 points and 7.1 rebounds in 1975.
    Louisiana Tech University
    Flagship of the University of Louisiana System

  9. #9
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    Re: We've lost one of our legends - Lanky Wells

    I was a student worker in the Basketball Office when Lanky played at Tech. He was a great guy and will be missed by many. Prayers for his family.

  10. #10
    Progressive King of 2011 Dawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond reputeDawgpix has a reputation beyond repute Dawgpix's Avatar
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    Re: We've lost one of our legends - Lanky Wells

    Opie talks about Lanky at about the 7:44 mark.

    https://youtu.be/YnZEq6mAgDo

    lanky.jpg
    Louisiana Tech University
    Flagship of the University of Louisiana System

  11. #11
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    Re: We've lost one of our legends - Lanky Wells

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawgpix View Post
    Opie talks about Lanky at about the 7:44 mark.

    https://youtu.be/YnZEq6mAgDo

    Attachment 13851
    Wow! Just very, very, nice comments about Lanky Wells from Mike McConathy. Thanks for posting this. Everyone should go to 7:44 and listen.

  12. #12
    Champ dawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond reputedawg80 has a reputation beyond repute dawg80's Avatar
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    Re: We've lost one of our legends - Lanky Wells

    Also a testament as to why Opie is so admired, respected, and loved by so many. Class guy.

  13. #13
    Champ OLDBLUE has a reputation beyond reputeOLDBLUE has a reputation beyond reputeOLDBLUE has a reputation beyond reputeOLDBLUE has a reputation beyond reputeOLDBLUE has a reputation beyond reputeOLDBLUE has a reputation beyond reputeOLDBLUE has a reputation beyond reputeOLDBLUE has a reputation beyond reputeOLDBLUE has a reputation beyond reputeOLDBLUE has a reputation beyond reputeOLDBLUE has a reputation beyond repute OLDBLUE's Avatar
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    Re: We've lost one of our legends - Lanky Wells

    Powerfully touching.
    A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own mind. Prov 18:2
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