Bill Ligon Passes

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Bill Ligon Passes

Post by MikeADore »

Charlie Nickens
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Re: Bill Ligon Passes

Post by Charlie Nickens »

Saddened to hear this. As a 6th grader I thought that '73-'74 team was the greatest team in the world. He was a counselor/coach one year in 75 or 76 at Roy Skinner Basketball School. Great guy. Prayers to his family and friends.
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Re: Bill Ligon Passes

Post by commadore »

MikeADore wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 12:16 pm
I will break my self imposed ban just once for this. Bill was a fabulous guy. I met him after his tour of the NBA at the Madison Community Center. He was there shooting around. A bunch of us got up a 5 on 5 game, but were one short. He said he couldn't play because it wouldn't be fair. He finally said he would play but wouldn't shoot. He never said he wouldn't make incredible passes. Our team was way out front. So the others started ragging him saying he wouldn't shoot because he couldn't. About that time he launched what had to be a 40 footer and hit nothing but net. Shut up the others.

After the game some of us were talking to him and asking why he left the NBA. He said the wear and tear on the body was horrible and he really just wanted to practice law, so he retired. Talked with us a long time. I saw him there 2 or 3 other times, but he never played with us agin, though he did speak.

Nice guy.
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Re: Bill Ligon Passes

Post by tuckerdavis57 »

Bill Ligon was a hero of mine as a child, too. Have had a passion for all things Vanderbilt since birth and Bill Ligon remains one of my all-time favorites. In honor of life he lived, I encourage you to consider reading "More than Rivals" by Ken Abraham. A great book about Mr. Ligon growing up. May he rest in peace.
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Re: Bill Ligon Passes

Post by GoVandy »

Charlie Nickens wrote: Wed Jun 12, 2024 1:17 pm...As a 6th grader I thought that '73-'74 team...
In my 2nd year at Belmont that season. If you want to hear a funny Charlie Nickens Restaurant story, dm me.
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Re: Bill Ligon Passes

Post by OldDude »

Very sad. Bill was a great player and gave the game his all.
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Re: Bill Ligon Passes

Post by Nashmann »

He was one of the reasons I became a huge college basketball fan when I first came to Vandy in '72
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Re: Bill Ligon Passes

Post by historybill »

Five years ago, I dip deep research on the institutions formerly known as "negro" high schools. I ended up doing a long article on the subject, and I actually compiled a list of all the ones that were in Tennessee (about 160).

I knew that the former black high school in Sumner County was still standing and that part of it was used as a museum for Union High School. So I went up there and spent several hours with Bill Ligon. He walked me around, showed me photos, told me stories, told me his opinions about this and that, and basically was at ease with me. It was one of those times when I thought I'd be up there 45 minutes and was there for 4 hours!

Here is the strange thing: He never, not once, mentioned his basketball career at Vanderbilt or the NBA. He was THAT passionate about his roots at an all "negro" high school in Sumner County.

The magazine ran 4 photos of me with Bill. Click here if you are interested: ... long-gone/
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Re: Bill Ligon Passes

Post by vandylifer »

Great article and research, History. I enjoy your writing as see some articles in The Gallatin News (Main Street Media) from time to time. My dad LOVED to keep score and I still have many of his scorebooks. I have all 3 from the "Ligon years". Ligon started most all of his first two years (sophomore & junior) and came off the bench during his senior year (along with fellow senior Lee Fowler) with the arrival of the "F-troop". Ligon's first varsity game was against SMU on 12/2/71 and he scored 20 points (8 of 9 free throws) - the lineup that night was Terry Compton, Ligon, Ray Maddux, Tom Arnholt and VBK . . we lost 89-79. Just thumbing thru . . . he scored 31 vs LSU (led by "Apple Sanders/26pts and Fig Newton/15pts - remember them?) that year on 14 field goals (wonder how many would have been three-pointers today?). We WON 104-83. He got 28 the next game vs Bama. He didn't score in the '74 NCAA loss to Marquette and finished his career with 8 points in the Regional consolation game vs Notre Dame. He didn't make it into the 1000 point club (fellow senior, Terry Compton did, playing 80 games and averaging 16.6 for 1326 points) -- I wonder how many he ended up scoring (guess I could add everything up from these three scorebooks? :-)
I sure enjoyed cheering for those guys. The Ligon, Compton, Fowler and VBK class had a 59-21 record in their careers. RIP Bill, you are a legend.
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Re: Bill Ligon Passes

Post by VUaskew »

903 career points for Bill. I have most media guides since the late 60's so I have a running compilation of these things...
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