The RudoHawk Years
When your town is just a little over 300 people and one of them turns out to be
the all-time leading scorer in the history of basketball in the state of Iowa you
take a great deal of pride in the record.
That was the case for the town of Protivin when it came to Bill Prochaska in the
50s and 60s and even into the 70s. Prochaska scored 2,124 points during his
4 year varsity basketball career at Rudolphinum High School in Protivin.
He broke the record in 1955 with no fanfare. As a matter of fact, they did not
realize it until his point totals were turned in at the end of the season and
someone in the IHSAA informed the school of the record.
Prochaska held the record until it was broken by Mike Putnam of Ottumwa
Walsh in 1962 and remained #2 until the early 70s and was still in the Top 4
into the 80s. Today he remains in the Top 20 all-time.
Prochaska started as a freshman and led the team in scoring all 4 years while
starting every game. He scored nearly halve his teams points during his
career. Listed at 5-11 he was the starting center but was known for his
ball-handling and jump shot, and also possessed some uncanny moves in the
paint against bigger players.
The Prochaska family had purple and gold (the school colors) in their blood.
Bill's father Joe was a captain and star of the basketball team at the school in
the early 30s and his mother Wilma (Kalishek) was a guard on the basketball
team and named "Miss Rudolphinum" twice by the student body.
His brother Jim was also an outstanding player for the RudoHawks on the
hardwood, while sisters Jane and Mary also graduated from the school. Mary
was with the class of 1968; the final graduating class of the school.
Prochaska went on and became a coach first at Buffalo Center HS and later at
Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa where he spent over 30 years as
basketball coach, baseball coach, athletic director, and professor.
He was elected into the Iowa High School Basketball Hall-of-Fame in 1993 and
also received Hall-of-Fame honors as a girls softball umpire in 1992.
He is now retired and living in Fayette and recently celebrated his 50th
Wedding Anniversary with his wife Jan orginally from Lime Springs.
They have two children, Mike and Melissa and five grand children.
(listen to the interview, I think you'll enjoy hearing about how he
developed as a player and the pride he takes in his team and
teammates back in the 50s at Rudolphinum)
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|Above the 1955 team that won the
conference tournament . They
went into a sudden death in the
2nd overtime and Prochaska hit a
jump shot to win it 56-54. ( the
taken right after the game). Click
the article about the conference
title below and others to read
them.. For player identification
click the team photo below the
story on the conference title
|Prochaska has lived and continues
to live a life full of "highlights" not
only from his 30+ years at Upper
Iowa University, but also during his
50 years of marriage to his wife Jan
(from Lime Springs). Their two
children Mike and Melissa are
pictured on the wall as children in
the photo below of Bill with his 5
|Click to enlarge photos
|The old Protivin Gym is gone but the basketball hoop behind the former
Prochaska's Tavern in Protivin remains to this day. Prochaska had his own
key to the gym during his playing days in Protivin.
|Click to enlarge