BB Goal

Pictured left to right with the goals are Joe Gex, Aaron Dunklin, Louis Dunklin, and Ricky Lyons.

Saint Stanislaus Alumni Director Joseph W. Gex, II ('88) appeared before the Bay St. Louis City Council on August 4th as a guest of District 3 Councilman Jeffery Reed to officially donate the basketball goals from the Old Gym building that was demolished on Monday, August 3rd.
Gex thanked Councilman Reed for the invitation to speak before the council and gave a brief history of the 97-year old building that was brought down the day before. 
Gex stated that the building was constructed in 1923 for the sum of $54,000 and replaced the covered outdoor pavilion where the basketball team played from 1914-23. 
While the building was never meant to be a front facade building on the campus, it blended nicely with the architecture of the 1903 buildings. 
When constructed, the building had a auditorium and gymnasium on the second floor while the first floor contained recreation rooms, two classrooms, locker room and shower facilities for teams. 
In the first year of the building, the SSC basketball team placed second in the nation at the National Catholic Invitational Tournament in Chicago where the Rocks' eight-member team also claimed the Spoetsmanship Trophy. 
Later in its history, 'Big Jim Smith, a hulking 6'7" center who led the Rocks to the state finals in 1945 before falling to New Site, called the Old Gym home.
And, stories of the great Curtis St. Mary are still told of the wonders he exhibited on the second floor hardwood in the building he called home when he was named the first African-American player to the Mississippi All-Star team in 1970.
The original 1903 buildings were razed following Hurricane Camille in 1970 due to extensive damage from the storm thus making the Old Gym building a front facade of the campus bordering Union Street. 
The Old Gym housed the Rocks' basketball team from 1923-1977 when the Brother Peter Memorial Gymnasium was built. It was also the home of the SSC Weightlifting Club and 'The Temple' where Brother Bennett Bishop founded the United States Drug-Free Powerlifting Association in the mid-1970s that helped perpetuate his philosophy "...a sound mind in a sound body.'
Gex commented, "I have many great memories in the Old Gym. It was a place that I often found myself after lunch playing games of slaughterball under the watchful eyes of Brother Raymond. It was a place that I often took the boarders for recreation when I served as a prefect at the school in the 1990s. For others, the building holds memories of games, dances, and classes. Needless to say, it is a building that echoes in the minds and hearts of many in this great city."
Before the building was taken down, the goals were cut from their iron frames and donated to the City of Bay St. Louis to be used in the refurbishment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park.
Gex added, "The Brothers of the Sacred Heart and Saint Stanislaus College have always enjoyed a healthy and vibrant relationship with the City of Bay St. Louis dating back to the founding of the school in 1854. We feel this in-kind donation to the city can only strengthen the relationship between the two sides. This is an opportunity to continue to foster an ideal to provide for youth which is a bedrock principle of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart and the late Dr. King. We make only request with this donation which is proper designation of where the goals come from describing their historic nature and intended use for all to see."
The goals were cut down in a group effort on Tuesday, July 28th by District Three Councilman Jeffrey Reed, SSC head basketball coach Aaron Dunklin ('00), Mr. Louis Dunklin, Mr. Ricky Lyons, and SSC Alumni Director Joe Gex ('88). The goals are currently being renovated and prepped for placement at the park. 

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