MASON CITY, Iowa – The North Iowa Area Community College held its annual Konigsmark Klassic this weekend for both women’s and men’s basketball teams.
Before the action tipped-off on Saturday, former players and friends gathered to celebrate the legacy of Herb Konigsmark.
“These players are still so nice, I’ve gotten so many hugs and they’re still as nice as they were when they played for Herb and it’s been so wonderful,” said Herb’s wife, Joyce Konigsmark.
Joyce was overwhelmed to see the number of former players that visited NIACC for a trip down memory lane.
“They have good memories and I have better memories,” said Konigsmark.
Like the time she had to drive the team van.
“My husband always drove one of the vans but there was no driver for the second van,” Konigsmark recalled. “So they suggested I could drive it so I said, ‘who is going to ride with me?’ There was dead silence. So I said ‘I have some cookies’ and pretty soon one of them said, ‘I’ll go.’”
For players like Floyd Coleman, it was the first time they walked into the gym that he remembers the most.
“I walked-on (to the team’s roster) and he was introducing me to some of the players on the team and he said, ‘This is Floyd Coleman from Chicago where all the guns and knives is at’ so you know, that was a big thing I remember about what he said and I loved him for that,” said Coleman.
From 1967-1993, Konigsmark amassed a total of 447 wins and 286 losses, but he knew he had to tach players about more than basketball.
“He tried to incorporate life lessons in all that he did – he always talked about honesty, being polite, and the good things like that,” said Joyce Konigsmark.
Herb passed away in 2006, but Joyce can still be found at local basketball games.
“I come to all of the NIACC games, go to all of the high school games – I’m a basketball freak I guess you could call me.”