Shocker legend Dave Stallworth remembered by teammates, fans in memorial service


Brian Hayes

Gloria Stallworth, right, watches as friends and teammates of her late husband share their memories of him during the memorial serve in Koch Arena. (Mar. 24, 2017)

Shocker fans gathered at Charles Koch Arena on Friday night to celebrate the life of Dave “the Rave” Stallworth.

Stallworth played at Wichita State from 1962 to 1965 before being drafted third overall by the New York Knicks and later playing for the Baltimore Bullets.

Stallworth, 75, died on March 15. 

Dave Dahl, one of the hosts for the memorial service, reminded everyone present that Koch Arena used to be known as Henry Levitt Arena.

“Levitt Arena was the house Dave Stallworth built,” Dahl said.

Members of Stallworth’s family and former teammates from the 1964-65 Final Four team attended the service. 

Bob Powers, a former teammate and one of the organizers of the event, reminisced about the first time he saw Stallworth play basketball.

Powers had arrived at Wichita State and watched Stallworth compete with Mohammed Shariff and Nate Bowman on a basketball court behind Brennan Hall.

“That was my first experience with watching him play,” Powers said. “He was just awesome. I was a senior in high school and I watched those guys play and I thought to myself, ‘I’m not sure I’m going to fit into this group.’

“As I got to know him and the years went by, he was probably one of the nicest guys on our team. I never heard him say a bad thing about or to anyone. He was in total control all the time. He was just a great guy.”

Shariff spoke about Stallworth’s impact on his own basketball success.

“Dave was very analytical; he could anticipate,” Shariff said. “Dave had a brilliant mind. He could figure out what was possible and what was not possible.”

Former teammates and coaches shared written messages about Stallworth’s time and success with Wichita State. 

Lanny Van Eman, a former teammate and assistant coach at WSU, wrote that Stallworth was a talented individual who helped to boost Wichita State’s presence among national media.

“I’m not certain that anyone realizes how special Dave was as a teammate, player or friend until until he was gone,” Van Eman wrote. “To think that Dave Stallworth was the third pick in the NBA draft is an amazing testament.”

Stallworth met his wife, Gloria, while playing the NBA. Gloria shared about her husband’s love for Wichita State.

“He always cared about this school,” Gloria Stallworth said. “He once said he bled black and gold.”


> Learn more about Dave Stallworth’s impact on the Shockers