New England Basketball Hall of Fame honor for Wahconah's Ladley
Longtime Wahconah boys' basketball coach Ed Ladley added another impressive item to his already sterling legacy this past weekend when he was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.
Ladley was inducted on Saturday night along with almost 100 other teams, coaches, players and contributors from throughout New England. The ceremonies took place at the DCU Center in Worcester.
"It was nice," said Ladley. "It's humbling. To be a coach from a small town and to get this kind of recognition is impressive, I guess."
This is the second Hall of Fame into which Ladley has been elected. In 2011, he was inducted into the Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. Ladley is the first Berkshire County coach to be inducted into the New England Hall.
With 100 inductees in 26 categories, speeches by the individual inductees were not allowed and in fact, the ceremony was divided into two "sessions" at the DCU Center on Saturday.
Ladley's induction was during the second session, which ran from 7:45 to 8:45 p.m.
"It was pretty impressive," said Ladley. "There were more than 2,000 people there. I've coached against some of the coaches, and I played against [inductee] Togo Palazzi."
Ladley's statistics stack up to those of any coach in the region. He has more than 500 wins, one of only 12 coaches in Massachusetts history to win that many, for either boys' or girls' programs.
His teams have qualified for the post-season 32 times in his 41 years of coaching. The Warriors under Ladley have totaled 50 post-season wins in that span.
Wahconah has won five Western Massachusetts titles, and advanced to the state championship game a total of four times.
One of the highlights of Ladley's career was the 1987 state championship team. That team trailed by a hard-to-believe 19 points with only 41 2 minutes remaining in the final, before rallying to win the championship, 58-57.
"Oh. Jeez, people still come up to me about that game," said Ladley. "We were out at Frontier Regional two years ago, and after the game, this guy came up to me. And all he said at first was, ‘I was there! I was at The Game.' And I knew what he was talking about. We talked about it for a little while. If you think about it, the circumstances were pretty amazing. We were so far behind and we turned it around so quickly."
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