Hall of Fame HoopsterGAMBIER, Ohio (May 19, 2006) John Rinka, Class of 1970, Kenyon's all-time leading scorer, will be inducted Saturday, May 20, as a member of the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame's inaugural class. Rinka will enter the hall with the likes of Oscar Robertson, John Havlicek, Jerry Lucas, Bobby Knight, and Clark Kellogg, among others.
"I am humbled, yet honored to be recognized in this first class," Rinka said. "After getting the news, I felt overwhelmed to be a part of such a prestigious class, one that even included my boyhood idol, Oscar Robertson."
During his four-year career in Gambier, Rinka dominated the game, pouring in 3,251 points--a career total that still ranks tenth all-time in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball history. The 5' 9" sharp-shooting guard from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, owns just about every Kenyon College offensive record, including a career scoring average of 32.8 points per game. In his senior season he led the nation in free throw percentage (234-of-263, .890) and also set the College's single-game scoring mark with 69 points against the College of Wooster.
In addition to his staggering statistics, Rinka was a three-year All-American, a three-time Ohio Athletic Conference player of the year, and the 1970 recipient of the James Naismith Award, which honors the nation's most outstanding senior male collegian six-feet or under.
Currently a teacher at Hoggard High School in Wilmington, North Carolina, Rinka was sharp in the classroom as well. He capped off his Kenyon career with an Academic All-American award.
"Kenyon gave me a chance to excel in basketball, but more importantly, Kenyon opened my eyes to the value of learning for learning's sake," Rinka explained. "I am so pleased that I will represent this wonderful institution which manages to value learning above all else."
Rinka has continued to share his knowledge of the sport through thirty years of coaching. At Hoggard, he also founded the group for Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), which assists students who have college potential, but not the necessary support to pursue rigorous honors and advanced placement courses.
In 1988, Rinka was inducted into the inaugural class of the Kenyon Athletics Association Hall of Fame. His No. 24 jersey was retired and is hanging in the National Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
During Saturday's ceremony at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Rinka will have numerous supporters, including teammates John Dunlop, Richard Fox, Kit Marty, Terry Parmalee, Rueben Pope, and head coach Robert Harrison. All were a part of the 1967-'68 team that went 23-5.