Louis G. Wilke

Although Louis Wilke promoted amateur basketball for more than three decades in both the United States and around the world, Wilke knew basketball from the ground up. After a successful coaching stint at the high school level, in 1928 Wilke returned to Phillips University where his team defeated the Kansas City Cooks Paint team, the eventual AAU national champion. He also coached the AAU Phillips 66ers between 1929-31 to a 98-8 record. Wilke served as president of the Rocky Mountain and Oklahoma AAU chapters and was the chairman of the AAU Basketball Committee. Because of his knowledge and professionalism, Wilke was given the task of mediating the 1961 controversy between the NCAA and AAU that would determine which group should represent the United States in international competition. His unique blend of administrative, organizational, and leadership skills, and his single-minded dedication to basketball, made Wilke one of basketball’s great promoters.