MEMORIES OF JEFF NEMECEK: "I grew up in Indianapolis. The old Pacers office was right across the street from my elementary school, PS 66. I remember hanging out the windows one year, as the team paraded down 38th Street to their offices. All of us yelling and screaming.
One time the team held a clinic on the street in front of the school. A number of the players were there, including George Peeples, George McGinnis, and Billy Keller. I was always tall for my age but, like most white guys in my neighborhood, I couldn't jump. But that didn't stop George Peeples from picking me up and helping me dunk the ball. Those Pacers players were all great.
I worked at the games during the '75-'76 through the '77-'78 years selling programs. Meeting the players was so awesome. But what a difference after the merger, when the NBA players starting making their way through Market Square Arena before the games. Most NBA players would sign a program for us, but some of the big stars were too good to talk to us, or even acknowledge us. The only name player I remember talking with us was Dr. J. He talked to us for about five minutes, and then let us shoot a few with him as he warmed up. What a guy.
My best memory of the ABA though was the 1970 All-Star Game. I had a paper route and saved my money for a long time to get tickets for my Dad, my brother and myself. The tickets were in the eighth row, courtside. I know today I would have to OWN the newspaper to get those seats. Spencer Haywood put on a one man show that day. He just flew up and down the court and through the air, dunking like no one had seen before. After the game, as he received the All-Star Game MVP award, he stopped and let us all, all the kids waiting, take pictures of him. He also signed autographs for us.
The ABA was the only thing I knew for a long time."