BORN: AUGUST 13, 1939, BLYTHEVILLE, AR
DIED: May 28, 2012, MUSKEGON, MI
A member of the Muskegon Heights High School state
championship basketball teams of 1956 and 1957, Ed Burton netted a
school record of 1,143 points for the Tigers during his three-year
varsity career. A Scholastic Magazine prep All‑American as a senior,
the 6-foot-6 center was heavily recruited by the nation's major
In the fall of 1957 he entered Michigan State on an athletic scholarship, but left East Lansing in the summer of 1958 to try his hand with the Harlem Globetrotters. After two seasons with the Globetrotters, Burton joined the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association and played there for two seasons.
He remained in professional ball, joining the Allentown Jets of the Eastern League in 1961 before moving on to the Holland Oilers of the Midwest Professional Basketball League and the Muskegon Panthers of the North American Basketball League.
In February 1965, he returned to the NBA, joining the St. Louis Hawks for the remainder of that season. He rejoined the local Panthers in 1966, leading the league in rebounding with a 14.4 average over 16 games and earning first team all-star honors. Following the 1967-68 season, he was named to the NABL All‑Star team for the third consecutive season.
Closing his playing career with the Grand Rapids Tackers of the Continental Basketball Association, Burton retired from the game in 1971.
BORN: JULY 9, 1923, MUSKEGON, MI
DIED: NOVEMBER 23, 2009, HOLLAND, MI
Former head coach for the Flying Dutchmen of Hope College, Russ DeVette
was a football and basketball star at Muskegon High School in the late
1930s. After earning letters at Hope College in basketball, football,
baseball and track, DeVette attended the University of Michigan for a
master's degree in physical education.
Basketball MVP as a senior in 1947, DeVette returned to Hope in the fall of 1948 as head basketball coach, leading the Dutchmen to nine Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association crowns and one NCAA regional title in 24 years at the helm. His squads posted a 329‑221 record over that span. In 1955, DeVette took on the head coaching duties of the Dutchmen football and baseball squads. He notched a 62‑64‑1 mark and two MIAA titles in 15 years on the gridiron. His women's track teams won two MIAA titles.
In 1957, he was named Coach of the Year by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. DeVette retired from Hope College in 1988.
James F. "Jimmy"
BORN: SEPTEMBER 5, 1896, GANANOGUE, ONTARIO, CANADA
DIED: JULY 7, 1965, MUSKEGON, MI
After returning home from a 58‑month assignment with the Canadian Army
during World War I, Jim Henderson left Canada in pursuit of a job. In
November 1919, he joined the staff of the Muskegon Chronicle as a
reporter. It was the beginning of a 43-year career as a sports
Henderson was appointed Chronicle sports editor in 1920 and served in that capacity until his retirement on October 1, 1962. His running column, “The Press Box”, covered it all ‑ from the world of professional sports to the prep scene. High school sports were always emphasized. Pre‑season prospects, the games and the half‑time shows, the post‑season sports banquets and a complete list of letter winners were expected by the public and delivered by Henderson.
Numerous civic and professional honors came his way over the years, including being named head of the Associated Press sports writers of Michigan in 1951, and a certificate of merit from Governor John B. Swainson in 1962.
His most treasured reward, however, was honorary membership in the Muskegon High School “M” Club. Joining former coaches and Muskegon Area Hall of Fame members Harry E. Potter and C. Leo Redmond, Henderson became only the third person other than a regularly enrolled athlete to be awarded a varsity “M”.
BORN: JUNE 1, 1937, KENORA, ONTARIO, CANADA
Drafted by the
Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League, Bryan McLay began his
professional career with the Cincinnati Mohawks of the International
Hockey League in 1957. After three seasons with various eastern teams,
he returned to the IHL in 1960 with the Muskegon Zephyrs, a new
franchise in the league. During his 13‑year career with Muskegon, McLay
notched 500 goals and 646 assists for 1,146 points in 936 games to lead
the franchise in all four categories.
His career highlights included a league record six-goal outing against the Fort Wayne Komets on March 8, 1961. With the renamed Mohawks, McLay posted a career high 119 points in 1965‑66 to pace Muskegon in scoring and finishing fifth in individual IHL scoring for that year. A team captain for seven seasons, he played on two Turner Cup championship teams and seven Huber Trophy regular season championship squads. Over his 14‑year career in the IHL, McLay notched 516 goals, 664 assists and 1,180 points.
A knee injury midway through the 1972‑73 season ended McLay's playing career. Out of respect for his accomplishments his jersey, No. 12, was retired by the Muskegon franchise. He remained in Muskegon as coach, assistant general manager and finally general manager of the Mohawks until his retirement in 1979.
Frank Edward Secory
Born: August 24, 1912, Mason City, IA
Died: April 7, 1995, Port Huron, MI
football and baseball star at Western Michigan University, Secory gained
fame as a professional baseball player and as a National League umpire.
An all-around athlete, Secory tried out for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League before signing with the Detroit Tigers as an outfielder. He spent 12 seasons playing professional ball with the Detroit, Cincinnati and Chicago franchises. Highlights include a .321 average and 4 home runs in 22 games for the Cubs in 1944, and a .400 average in 5 games for the Cubs in the 1945 World Series against his old teammates, the Detroit Tigers.
After retiring as a player, he joined the ranks of umpires. Over a span of 16 years, Secory worked six All-Star games and four World Series and earned the Baseball Writers' Association of America "Umpire of the Year" award before retiring in 1970.
BORN: JUNE 14, 1936, SHELBY, MI
DIED: OCTOBER 7, 1999, KENNER, LA
An outstanding all‑around athlete at Shelby High School, Dave Whitsell
earned letters in football, basketball, baseball and track. After
graduation from the University of Indiana, Whitsell logged 12 seasons
and 161 games as a defensive back with five NFL teams.
Whitsell led Indiana in receiving in 1957, highlighted by 107 yards (the fifth highest total in team history at the time) on three receptions versus Iowa.
A late round draft choice by the Detroit Lions before the 1958 season, Whitsell joined the Chicago Bears following three seasons with the Lions. He led the Bears with six interceptions in 1961, compiling 26 thefts in his six seasons, the fifth-highest total in team history. His 39‑yard touchdown run following an interception in the 1963 regular season finale ensured a conference crown for the Bears and, eventually, an NFL championship.
Left unprotected by Chicago following the 1966 season, Whitsell was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the NFL's expansion draft. In his first year with the Saints, the cornerback grabbed a league-leading 10 interceptions en route to UPI's Comeback Player of the Year honors, the Saints MVP award and a berth on the Pro Bowl team. He retired following the 1969 season and was inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame in 1996.