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 Wayne, 3rd from the right
For the first time in the history of our WTHHT segement, I have to admit, I was never fortunate enough to see this week's player in action.  Being 2 years old at the time of the 1980-81 season, I just didn't have it in me to ask my parents when the Celtics were playing and who that #20 was out there.  So I can't tell you a lot about Wayne Kreklow, what player he resembled or what his strengths or shortcomings were.  What I can tell you (aside from having an awesome number in Celtics history; seriously #20, between Nelson's 19 and Sharman's 21 is a number still out there active that's never been retired.  Of course Ray may have it retired if he plays 3 more years after this one) is that Kreklow was drafted by the Celtics in the 3rd round of the 1979 draft out of Drake University.  The fact that Kreklow's only time in the NBA came for the Celtics in the 1980-81 season makes one wonder, what the hell happened to Wayne Kreklow in 1980?  Did the Celtics pull a Larry Bird with Wayne and draft him a year early? (The answer is no).  Can anyone explain what happened in between the year he was drafted and the year he played?  Was he overseas?  Injured?
Wayne, top row 2nd to left b/t KC & ML

Kreklow only lasted 25 games in the league for the 1980-81 season.  He shot 11-47 from the field for only 23% (not good)) but was actually 1-4 on 3 pointers (25%) which placed him at a higher percentage than Magic Johnson on 3's that year (Cheesy shot 18%).  He was waived on January 21st 1981 which means I'm not sure if he received a championship ring from the Celts that season.  Did Brandon Wallace get a ring for the 2008 Celtics, just because he was in the photo at the beginning of the year?  I don't think so.

However unlike many former NBA players who fall into obscurity, Wayne has remained in the public eye.  Today Wayne is the head coach of the women's volleyball team at the University of Missouri.  You can also find him on Twitter here.  His son Ricky (below with Wayne), is a highly recruited senior basketball player who looks like he'll be attending either the Univeristy of Missouri or the University of Minnesota.  Who knows in the year 2035, you may be reading a WTHHT  Ricky Kreklow.

8/13*** Ricky attended the University of Missouri but has since transferred to Univ of California:

Ricky Kreklow




UPDATE: A big Celticslife thank you to Fabio at http://www.iamaceltic.it/ for providing this picture of Kreklow in a Celtics uniform.  He was also nice enough to provide pictures of Matt Wenstrom and Dave Popson in uniform, so be sure to go back to those older articles to see the new pics!  They're much better than any of my scrapbook photos lol.  And please take a look at Fabio's site.  It's based in Italy but they really know their hoops!

For a complete list of the "What the Hell Happened To" Series please click here.

tb727 3/22/2010 09:00:00 AM Edit
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16 Responses so far.

  1. Margaret says:

    I feel OLD... I didn't remember him until I read this, but I started following the Celtics in the spring of 1980 when I moved to the greater Boston area... apparently I'm old enough to be your mother, TB...

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wayne Kreklow apparently wasn't quite happy of the way the Celtics had dumped him, since he didn't accept the invitation to the Larry Bird's night in 1993 and was subsequently ignored when the 1980-81 roster was mentioned.
    By the way, on the net you can find the wrong information that Wayne had been the Celtics' first round draft pick that year, while every fan of the Green knows well what happened in the 1980 draft: the McHale/Parish for Joe "Barely Cares" Barry Carroll trade.
    Thank you for the article!

    Fabio
    http://www.iamaceltic.it/

  3. tb727 says:

    Thanks for the comment Fabio. Yeah I mentioned Kreklow being taken in the 1979 draft, since I knew the McHale and Parish thing was for the 1980 draft. I'm just wondering what Kreklow did for that year in between.

    And don't feel old Margaret- Jrue Holiday on the Sixers was born in 1990, so I feel old myself

  4. JR says:

    I think just being in that picture made Kreklow's career... I'm talking about the Celtics one, not the one with all the hot volleyball players. lol. I must mention again I miss the days when team pictures were about the players, not 25 suits. In this picture you have the head coach, 2 assistants, the owner, and the GM only.

    I think TB's WTHHT's are getting better and better. Good stuff.

  5. tb727 says:

    Thanks!

    There's SO many things that were better about the NBA, such as guys being more fundamentally sound, all knowing how to do basic things like dribble. In fact the only thing that's not better from back in the day is probably the length of the shorts.

  6. Margaret says:

    Oh - I have to disagree on the shorts. I'm loving the LONGER ones BIG TIME. :)

  7. tb727 says:

    Yeah the longer ones today are better- maybe I wrote that wrong lol...

  8. JR says:

    Is Kreklow wearing a Celtics bracelet in the top pic?

  9. tb727 says:

    Yeah those "I Am a Celtic" ones lol? I had one of those, it ripped though.

    I doubt it considering Fabio's comment on him above...

  10. Anonymous says:

    After Celtics he played in Sydney Australia for short time in their pro league. I was 14 when he was there. They made a big deal over the Cletics piece. If they loked close they would see 1 minute a game. LOL

  11. Btw in that Kreklow pic, are the Cavs at home in that pic? I could've sworn by the uniforms. Oh wait that's right, those jerks just wear those uniforms at home in 2010. My bad...

  12. Anonymous says:

    I am a Columbia, MO resident & I don't miss any of the home MIZZOU women's volleyball games. Wayne Kreklow is about the nicest man one could ever meet! A real class act!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I started my basketball career with wayne in 4th grade. He had a great sense of humor and could really crack you up.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Wayne Kreklow was a key part of a state championship basketball team at Neenah High School in 1975. Graduated from Drake University and had a brief go with Lary Bird's Celtic team. He was also a high skilled volloeyball player and he and his wife are successful volleyball coaches at the University of Missouri. Wayne continues to love sports and supporting his community.

  15. tb727 says:

    Thanks for all the feedback here, much appreciated to hear. Wayne sounds like a terrific guy.

  16. He was also a volleyball coach at Central Decatur High School when I was a freshman ('86-'87land maybe my Jr yr. The reason I looked him up tonight ..I was telling my daughter about playing vb and that my coach played for the Celtics..always wondered where he went after he left.

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