LaNeve recalls big night
MORGANTOWN – You need to go back about 60 years for the most memorable high spot in the basketball career of Ronnie LaNeve.
That’s when the two-time Class “B” All-State star at Wells High School in Newell, W. Va., made 31 of 34 field goals against New Cumberland High for 64 points.
Robert N. “Red” Brown, then West Virginia’s head men’s basketball coach, was a witness. So he offered the young star a four-year scholarship to play for the Mountaineers.
“I think that 64-point total still ranks in the Top 5 on the state’s all-time list for high school players,” LaNeve said recently.
He went on to play two years for Brown and two years for Fred Schaus from 1953-56.
LaNeve, who now resides in Elkins, contributed to records of 19-7, 12-11, 19-11, and 21-9. The Mountaineers earned bids to the NCAA Tournaments in his junior and senior years.
LaNeve also was a four-year letter-winner in baseball as a shortstop. He stood 6-foot-2 but weighed just 155 pounds as a Mountaineer.
He played at a guard position in basketball. The legendary Hot Rod Handley was one of his teammates for two seasons.
LaNeve, who turns 79 in September, and wife, Nichey, have been married 56 years. The two became sweethearts as freshmen at the university.
They have three grown sons and six grandchildren.
Stephen and wife, Barbara, live in Westchester, Pa.
Ronald Scott and wife Sally have three children. They live in Indianapolis, Ind.
Todd is the youngest son and he is a lawyer in Clarksburg. His wife’s name is Tammy. They have three kids.
Ronnie graduated from WVU in 1956 with a degree in Biology and Physical Education. Then he spent 18 months at the University of Pittsburgh and got a degree in Physical Therapy.
“Then in 1970, I went back to Pitt and got a master’s degree in public health,” LaNeve explained. “I have been in hospital administration for 30 years.
“Before that, I had 25 years in the U.S. military (1957-1981). I started out in the Army, then switched to the United States Public Health and Service.”
He retired as a full colonel in 1981.
Since then, he has been working in hospital and nursing administration from which he retired in 2010 after 30 years in that role.
But he’s back on the job helping people in the Elkins area who are home following surgery or other hospital stays.
“I am working for the hospital, and it’s probably the happiest time of my life,” LaNeve stated.