Despite all his success in high school, a shot he made at Nebraska stands out for basketball player Fred Hare.
On Dec. 12, 1964, Hare flipped the ball over his head with his back to the basket — at the buzzer — to give the Huskers a 74-73 win over No. 1-ranked Michigan and All-American Cazzie Russell.
“That was the most unique game I ever played in,” he said in a later interview with Husker Hoops Central.
Hare picked NU from a slew of offers after starting for four years for Omaha Tech, where he averaged 26.4 points a game as a senior in 1963. Tech won the Class A title that year after going 22-2 and cruising through the state tournament by an average of 21 points a game. That team was voted into the Omaha Sports Hall of Fame and recently was chosen as having one of the best starting fives in Nebraska high school sports history.
Hare is a member of the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame and the Nebraska Black Sports Hall of Fame.
Players from his era say that the 6-foot-1 Hare, who scored 1,588 points at Tech, should be mentioned in any conversation regarding Nebraska’s greatest high school basketball players.
“Nobody could stop him,” said his coach at Tech, Neal Mosser. “He was so quick and he could shoot from any angle.”
Former teammate Ron Boone, who went on to a 13-year professional career, was a junior reserve on Tech’s championship team in 1963.
“He was probably the best high school player I have ever seen,” Boone said. “He could shoot with both hands and he had a great turnaround jump shot.”
College and professional stardom didn’t follow. Although he led Nebraska in scoring (15.2) and rebounding (7.4) as a sophomore, he quit the team during his senior year after a dispute with coach Joe Cipriano. He played in Mexico for a time and with the Harlem Clowns and others, but none of his NBA tryouts panned out.
“Sometimes,” he said back in 1983, “it’s a strange thing: The best don’t always make it, no matter what you do or how good you are.”
Hare wrote a book about life and basketball called “The Best of the Best.”
Played for: Omaha Tech High, Nebraska Cornhuskers and Americas University in Mexico
Best moment as an athlete: On Dec. 12, 1964, Hare made an incredible shot — flipping the ball over his head with his back to the basket — at the buzzer to give Nebraska a 74-73 win over No. 1-ranked Michigan and All-American Cazzie Russell.
Hare was No. 72 in the inaugural Nebraska 100 list in 2005. See more about the 2005 list »