Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tasker's family visits Hobbs

Clayton Jones/News-Sun
Ralph Tasker's daughters Diane Tasker, left, and Nancy Tasker Johnson
visited Tasker Arena on Friday for the first time in over a decade.
  Three generations of Ralph Tasker's descendants walked through the doors of Ralph Tasker Arena on Friday for the first time since he died in July of 1999.
  And I am so glad I was there.
  Tasker's daughters Diane Tasker and Nancy Tasker Johnson, Nancy's daughter Michelle Williams and Michelle's daughter Ali Williams all took an impromptu visit to Tasker Arena as they helped Nancy, who just retired, move from the Dallas area to Las Cruces (where Diane lives).
  For me, I've been in Hobbs for six years and have heard numerous stories about Coach Tasker and I enjoy each one because it gives you a glimpse of who the great man I never got to meet was.
  Meeting his daughters and granddaughter (his great granddaughter Ali was just an infant when he died) gave me even more of an idea of who the man was. The stories that were told for that brief hour they were at the arena and watching them reminisce about the days Diane, Nancy and Michelle worked and played at the gym under the watchful eye of Coach Tasker were a window into what it was like during his glorious reign.
  They also showed their joy for having a former player of Tasker roaming the sidelines in head coach Mike Smith.
  "I love having these young men who played for dad coaching," Tasker's daughter Nancy said. "Not just because of the basketball and knowing the terminology and how to implement it, but because they know the back story. They understand it's about living life to its best and being the best gentlemen you can be and having integrity. These young men do and they are teaching their kids the same thing."
  Tasker's other daughter Diane shared her sister's thoughts.
  "Dad is pleased, I can tell you that much," Diane said. "He's watching over all of this and the old full-court press is back to stay."
  For my complete story on their visit, read last Sunday's edition of the Hobbs News-Sun.