By Dan Ramey
Pictured, event organizers Jhan Corzine and Jill Caplinger with the statuette of Neil Johnston.
A local charge to have a memorial sculpture of Chillicothe High School Grad and professional basketball player, Neil Johnston, made for Chillicothe High School continues.
Johnston played basketball at CHS in the 1940's. He then played eight seasons with the Philadelphia Warriors from 1951-59 before he was forced to retire after a serious knee injury that final season.
After his playing career, Johnston coached the Warriors to a 95-59 record for the first two seasons of Wilt Chamberlain's NBA career.
Johnston passed away in 1978 but his legacy lives on as an inductee of Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Jhan Corzine says a dinner and sports memorabilia auction to further the effort will take place in late September. “A Night for Neil” will be held on September 28th at the Elks Lodge in Chillicothe.
The fundraiser will feature a variety of different items including sports memorabilia from the Ohio State Buckeyes and miniatures of the Neil Johnston Statue. Former Cavaliers and Buckeyes Mark Bayless and Drew Basil will also participate.
Tickets for “A Night for Neil” are $40 and are available via the Ross Chillicothe Convention and Visitors Bureau, Schlegel’s Coffee House, Chillicothe Signs and Screen Printing and Picture This.
Organizers have set a goal of $50,000 for the 13 foot tall statue of Johnston which will stand in front of Chillicothe High School’s Hatton Memorial Gymnasium.
LISTEN: Hear Dan Ramey's interview with Corzine and Caplinger below.