PERSON OF INTEREST: Richard Artmeier


FSU Hall of Fame Inductee

Where did your basketball career begin? I grew up in Indiana and my father was a tenant farmer. The first paycheck he got was $17.50 for a week of working. I lived in Rush County but I went to school in Decatur County where I played basketball. If you were born in that county, you could go to that school; therefore, when we moved to Rush County because Dad got a job, I was still able to go back to Decatur and play ball my senior year.

How did you get from Indiana to Florida? My high school coach took a doctoral program at Indiana University and was in class with Don Veller, who was the football coach at Florida State University. Don asked my coach, Wayne Ziegler, if anyone could play basketball. He said, “Well, I have this guy Dick Artmeier, but we’ve never won any tournaments and no one has ever seen him play, but he’s a scrappy player.”

So he took my name, gave it to the basketball coach, and lo-and-behold, one day Mom had a letter from FSU. I opened it up and they said, “We heard you’re a pretty good player. If you come and make the team, we’ll give you the out-of-state tuition.”

Was there a fear of failure? I asked my agriculture teacher what I should do. He said, “Look at it this way, if you go and don’t make the team, you can always come back and at least be able to say you’ve been to Florida.” It made sense to me, so I bought some clothes, packed them in a suitcase, and caught a Greyhound bus for $12.75. I went to Tallahassee to enroll in school and play basketball. I made the team as a freshman and ended up in the hall of fame in 1984.

What were your successes? I was always guarding the high scorer on every team we played. I held West Virginia All-American Rodney “Hot Rod” Hundley to seven points in the 1955 Orange Bowl Tournament. I was the third-leading rebounder on the team because I would let players jump and when they came down, I would take the ball away from them.

What are some of your best memories? I met my wife, June, when I missed a layup and fell in the lap of an FSU cheerleader. I got up carefully, apologized, and noticed her beautiful face. We dated and our first kiss was in front of a sweet-smelling tea olive tree. I have a bush planted in our garden.

PHOTO: Fred Lopez

About the Author

Michelle was born in the heat of South Florida, but has called Lake County “home” for the last 9 years. Latching on to the idea that “if you want to be a little bit of everything, be a writer,” Michelle found her focus in a Leesburg high school Journalism class. Fascinated by the model of a renaissance man, she has since had her hand in many areas such as dance, travel, food, film, theatre, history, as well as costuming and Fashion design. But Michelle’s focus has always been the written word. While garnering a Bachelor’s degree In English Literature from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fl, she was a part of The International English Honors society, Sigma Tau Delta and a regular contributor to the literary zine, Paperfinger. She is now, at 24, nearing the end of her Master’s program In English & Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, with a particular interest in poetry and the Romantics. As many of her interests are culturally fueled, she finds it important to fully absorb the world around and let her writing reflect these varied influences. Also believing “lower standards will lower the culture,” Michelle aims to keep standards high in her writing by being in tune with the community. She is ecstatic to be associated with the quality people and publications at Aker’s Media Group, who have their finger on the pulse of the community.

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