The RudoHawk Years
When your town is just a little over 300 people and one of them turns out to be the
all-time leading scorer in the history of basketball in the state of Iowa you take a
great deal of pride in the record.
That was the case for the town of Protivin when it came to Bill Prochaska in the 50s
and 60s and even into the 70s. Prochaska scored 2,124 points during his 4 year
varsity basketball career at Rudolphinum High School in Protivin.
He broke the record in 1955 with no fanfare. As a matter of fact, they did not realize
it until his point totals were turned in at the end of the season and someone in the
IHSAA informed the school of the record.
Prochaska held the record until it was broken by Mike Putnam of Ottumwa Walsh in
1962 and remained #2 until the early 70s and was still in the Top 4 into the 80s. Today
he remains in the Top 20 all-time.
Prochaska started as a freshman and led the team in scoring all 4 years while
starting every game. He scored nearly halve his teams points during his career.
Listed at 5-11 he was the starting center but was known for his ball-handling and
jump shot, and also possessed some uncanny moves in the paint against bigger
The Prochaska family had purple and gold (the school colors) in their blood. Bill's
father Joe was a captain and star of the basketball team at the school in the early 30s
and his mother Wilma (Kalishek) was a guard on the basketball team and named
"Miss Rudolphinum" twice by the student body.
His brother Jim was also an outstanding player for the RudoHawks on the hardwood,
while sisters Jane and Mary also graduated from the school. Mary was with the class
of 1968; the final graduating class of the school.
Prochaska went on and became a coach first at Buffalo Center HS and later at Upper
Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa where he spent over 30 years as basketball coach,
baseball coach, athletic director, and professor.
He was elected into the Iowa High School Basketball Hall-of-Fame in 1993 and also
received Hall-of-Fame honors as a girls softball umpire in 1992.
He is now retired and living in Fayette and recently celebrated his 50th Wedding
Anniversary with his wife Jan orginally from Lime Springs.
They have two children, Mike and Melissa and five grand children.
(listen to the interview, I think you'll enjoy hearing about how he developed as a
player and the pride he takes in his team and teammates back in the 50s at
|Above the 1955 team that won the
conference tournament . They
went into a sudden death in the
2nd overtime and Prochaska hit a
jump shot to win it 56-54. ( the
taken right after the game). Click
the article about the conference
title below and others to read
them.. For player identification
click the team photo below the
story on the conference title
|Prochaska has lived and continues
to live a life full of "highlights" not
only from his 30+ years at Upper
Iowa University, but also during his
50 years of marriage to his wife Jan
(from Lime Springs). Their two
children Mike and Melissa are
pictured on the wall as children in
the photo below of Bill with his 5
|The old Protivin Gym is gone but the basketball hoop behind the
former Prochaska's Tavern in Protivin is pictured above.
Prochaska had his own key to the gym
during his playing days in Protivin.
"Be Happy and Shine"
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