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“Lou and I just looked at each other,” Satterfield said with a laugh. “We were incredulous. But there was nothing Bo would ever tell us to do that he wouldn’t do himself. We was our captain, our leader.”
William “Bo” Crain, 81, died May 7, a month after testing positive for COVID-19. He was rehabilitating from a heart issue when he tested positive, younger brother Clarence Crain said.
Bo Crain was born in Grenada, Mississippi, the oldest of seven children to Jacob and Veronica Crain, but spent the majority of his life in Indianapolis after moving from Mississippi as an 8-year-old in 1947. He excelled in baseball and basketball at Shortridge, where he was named to the prestigious Indiana All-Stars team as a senior in 1959.
Shortridge was ranked third in the state that season entering the sectional with a balanced, veteran team. Crain, at 6-2 and 175 pounds, anchored the front line. Gerry Williams, who would go on to star at Butler in basketball and track and field, was a 5-9 senior guard and second in scoring to Crain.
“He was Batman and I was Robin,” said Williams, who set the state record with a 6-6 high jump as a senior. “Bo was tenacious. Some people talk about people who would run through a brick wall. That was Bo. Not me. I might jump over it. But we all followed his lead.”
Shortridge had the makings of a state championship team that year. But after beating rival Crispus Attucks twice during the regular season, Shortridge lost a 63-62 heartbreaker to the Tigers in the sectional semifinal in front of a sellout crowd at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Crain scored 21 points but it was not enough.
Attucks went on to win the state championship, its third in five years.
“I still haven’t gotten over it,” Satterfield said. “We had a great team. We were picked by many of the sportswriters to win state, but it’s hard to beat a team three times in one year, especially a team like Attucks.”
After high school, Crain went on to Weber College in Ogden, Utah, before transferring to the University of Utah after one year. He was an all-conference player in the Mountain States Athletic Conference, averaging 12.3 points and 7.5 rebounds as a junior in 1961-62 and was again the team’s leading scorer as a senior.