Former Cobblers’ Teacher Discusses Holding College Scoring Record

For 47 years, former Cobbler teacher Kim Templeton held the career scoring record at BHSU. What was it like?

Before Kim Templeton spent seven years at Southwest Middle School teaching physical education, he spent more than 30 years at Central High School teaching social studies and coaching basketball. But before even that, he played basketball at Black Hills State University and scored more points than any other player to wear the BHSU uniform. 

This week, however, BHSU forward Joel Scott is set to break that record, so The Pine Needle sat down with Mr. Templeton to ask his thoughts on the experience, especially considering he has spent twice as much of his life holding the scoring record as he has spent without it. 

Our conversation has been edited for clarity and brevity. 

The Pine Needle: How do you feel about Joel Scott breaking your record? 

Kim Templeton: Someone asked me that last week, and I think the honest answer—if anyone asks if you had a record and if you wanted it to be broken—my answer is, no.

I had mixed emotions, you know I honestly didn’t think it was going to last 47 years. Forty-seven years was a long time, and there have been a lot of really, really good basketball players at Black Hills. I’m humbled.

But more power to [Joel]. He’s a really outstanding player, and I hear he’s a very good individual as far as character is concerned. Congratulations to him. I’d love to be there when he breaks the record, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. 

PN: Do you have any advice for the incoming record holder? 

Templeton: Yeah. Enjoy the ride. Enjoy the moment.  

I talked to Joel last weekend. I told him congratulations. It hasn’t happened yet—I hope he doesn’t get hurt. He’s been injury free, which is a big deal. I’m proud of his accomplishments—he’s an outstanding player. 

PN: Did you get any injuries while playing? 

Templeton: Lots of athletes have knee, ankle, and arm injuries. I was lucky. The worst injury I had while playing basketball was a sprained ankle. I didn’t miss any basketball games, but I did have a lot of tape on my ankle.

PN: Growing up, was basketball your main sport to play?

Templeton: I came from a small town of about 2,000, so there were more people who attended Rapid City Central High School than people in my hometown. And it was something where if you played athletics you went from the football season in the fall to basketball season in the winter. Then track in the spring and baseball in the summertime. So, I played a lot of sports, probably three or four sports in high school.

I watched a lot of basketball on TV. I’d watch those NBA players and had a dream of playing professionally and didn’t quite make it. Maybe the guy upstairs said, “Okay, you need to be a teacher.” I love teaching and coaching, and I just love being around kids. 

PN: What has changed about basketball compared to when you played in college? 

Templeton: The three-point play and the shot clock. The shot clock has sped up the game—more shots taken. I think the game has changed a little. People are bigger. They are stronger, overall. Maybe it’s a little bit faster. 

PN: During your time, had there been three-point shots, what impact do you think that would have had on your performance and your score overall?

Templeton: When I look back, I don’t remember the number of three-pointers that I would have taken. That was the farthest thing from my mind. I don’t know, I would have scored a few more, but I really have no clue. It would have been interesting.

PN: Where did you score most of your points? 

Templeton: I was a two-guard, a shooting guard. So, I played mostly outside. 

PN: What is something you want to be remembered for?

Templeton: I think if someone were to see me play, I think I would want them to remember that I loved the game of basketball and I always gave it my best efforts. That’s what I want people to remember. 

PN: Do you think you could beat Joel Scott in a game of HORSE? 

Templeton: If we had a straight HORSE game—I like my chances. 

PN: Who are some of the people you looked up to in your younger years? 

Templeton: My brother, Bob. We only had two children in our family, my brother and myself. He let me tag along with him—when I was a freshman, he was a senior, when I was a fourth grader he was an eighth grader. I would tag along with him, and he would find the best game outside because we couldn’t get into a gym like we have here. Now, the gyms are open; when I was growing up, the gyms were locked. And don’t tell anybody—people didn’t know it—but we used to break into the gyms to play basketball just because it was so cold outside. 

And I don’t know how many times my brother and I would be outside, and we would have two basketballs—one that was in the house that was warm. You know what happens to basketballs when they have air in them and they get cold, you can hardly dribble them. So we would take the cold one in and get the warm one out, and then we were out playing basketball again. 

I idolized him because he went up to Black Hills and played football, and he was a senior when I was a freshman at Black Hills.The big thing is he let me tag along, and some brothers don’t. As a matter of fact, we would go to some outdoor basketball courts, and I was always hoping there would be an odd number, like 7 people or 3 people—that means I got to play. I didn’t do very good, because, you know, four years is a lot of difference as far as maturity. 

I just owe a lot to him, and obviously my parents for doing what they did. They’ve since passed; They’d take us to ball games even when we were growing up. They would have done anything for my brother and I.

PN: Do you have any advice for people who want to get better at basketball?

Templeton: Put in the time. I don’t care if you’re a musician, I don’t care if you’re a basketball player, I don’t care if you’re a debater. If you want to be good, you’ve got to put in the time. No matter what sport, no matter what you’re doing. It’s not easy—there’s a lot of competition in the world today, a lot of competition. Never give up.

Note: This article was concurrently published by the Black Hills Pioneer.

Photo: Basketball by Chili Head on Flickr