Reusse: Red Wing basketball kids profit from Dad's lifetime of regret, insight

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 20, 2014 - 3:19 PM

Richard Buck squandered his hoops talent but made sure daughter Tesha and her siblings wouldn’t make the same mistake.

hide

Richard Buck was a gifted high school basketball player in Red Wing but missed his family enough to leave his college team at midseason. When his daughter, Tesha (below), had similar thoughts, he encouraged her to stick with it. Tesha led Wisconsin-Green Bay with 18 points against the Gophers on Wednesday.

Photo: Photos by JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Red Wing was among Minnesota’s original high school basketball powerhouses. By 1991, hockey had become a strong presence and the Wingers had gone 19 years without making a trip to the state tournament.

Dick Beetsch was the coach, and he had two tremendous players — Richard Buck and Chris Baker — surrounded by several outstanding athletes. Buck was a Dakota Indian living on the reservation, and Baker lived in town.

Red Wing had a tradition of running a disciplined offense dating to the legendary coach Pete Petrich (1948-70). Beetsch was so giddy over the talent of Buck, Baker and that squad that he allowed them the freedom to fire away.

One January night in 1991, Beetsch referred to what Petrich would be thinking in his retirement in Arizona.

“Our kids having the green light to shoot … if Pete was dead, he would be spinning in his grave,” Beetsch said.

Red Wing lost in the section final to Owatonna. Buck and Baker didn’t get the chance to show their talent in what was a two-class state tournament.

Baker went to Division I Idaho State for three seasons, then returned to the Midwest and finished his career at tiny Viterbo College in Wisconsin. Buck went to Lake Region JC in Devils Lake, N.D., was the leading scorer halfway through the season, went home for Christmas and never returned.

“Iowa State, Utah and Coastal Carolina were three that talked to me,” Buck said. “My grades weren’t good at all. I had to go to junior college. Devils Lake was a long way from home. I missed my family.”

The most important family member was Clara Buck, his grandmother. “I was raised by her; she was everything to me,” Buck said. “My mother was around some, and my father … I never knew who he was.”

Buck was 21 when he had his first child, daughter Tesha, with his wife, Jess. “Things still were bad with me for a couple of years,” Richard said. “My son came along two years later. In ’97 or ’98, I had a car accident — not a bad one, but enough for me to say, ‘That’s enough.’ ”

Buck went through treatment. He turned his attention to being a father, a coach and a strong influence among the native people and in Red Wing in general.

“I’ve regretted every day not taking advantage of my talent,” he said. “I’ve tried to make sure that doesn’t happen with my kids, and the kids that I’ve coached.”

How complete was Buck’s athletic talent?

“I coached for almost 40 years and I would put Richard one or two when it came to pure talent,” said Beetsch, living in retirement in Red Wing. “He was strong as a horse. He could jump out of the gym. He was an outstanding rebounder … at 6-3, maybe the best I ever had. And he could shoot.

“One day, we were at Carleton in Northfield, watching a track meet. Richard went over to where the college boys were throwing the javelin. They gave him one throw, and it went farther than any of them.

“I’ve always said, when it comes to Red Wing, Richard Buck was our Jim Thorpe.”

Tesha Buck became a basketball star for Red Wing. His oldest son, Tyrell, is a basketball standout as a junior. More than that, he’s a power-hitting prospect in baseball.

Daughter Tayzha was on Red Wing’s varsity as an eighth-grader. The youngest of four is 10-year-old Deso.

  • related content

  • Banham's three-pointer lifts Gophers over Green Bay in WNIT

    Thursday March 20, 2014

    Rachel Banham scored 12 points in the game’s final four minutes, including a pull-up three-pointer from well behind the arc with 11.1 seconds remaining.

  • Reusse: Pitino's whining has changed an earlier impression

    Wednesday March 19, 2014

    Richard Pitino's reactions to the blowout by Wisconsin in the second round of the Big Ten tournament, and to being relegated to the NIT on Selection Sunday have caused an...

  • Green Bay Phoenix guard Tesha Buck (2) of Red Wing at Williams Arena Wednesday night. ] JEFF WHEELER ‚Ä¢ jeff.wheeler@startribune.com The University of Minnesota women's basketball team faced the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay in an opening round women's NIT game Wednesday night, March 19, 2014, at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco 2 Bottom 8th Inning
Kansas City 7
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Houston 90 FINAL
Orlando 89
Brooklyn 86 FINAL
Boston 100
Washington 100 FINAL
New York 103
Cleveland 92 FINAL
Memphis 96
Minnesota 110 FINAL
Milwaukee 91
Atlanta 117 FINAL
San Antonio 107
Portland 37 3rd Qtr
LA Lakers 50
Phoenix 35 2nd Qtr 10:25
LA Clippers 33
Toronto 0 Postponed
Ottawa 0
Philadelphia 5 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
Washington 2 2nd Prd 1:15
Edmonton 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Anaheim 1
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Chivas USA 0 2nd Half 15:00
Real Salt Lake 2
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who should get the Twins' managing job?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close