Former Golden Eagle Greats Micky Harrington and Glen Whisby Pass Away This Week
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Southern Miss Department of Athletics mourns the passing of two former Golden Eagle standouts, Micky Harrington and Glen Whisby, this week.
Harrington, who lettered for the Golden Eagles in both men's basketball and baseball during the mid-1950s, passed away Wednesday morning, Sept. 20. He was 83 years old. Whisby, who also lettered for the men's basketball program from 1992-95, was 45.
Harrington is regarded as one of the best basketball and baseball players ever produced at Southern Miss. During his basketball career he developed into one of the school's best scorers and rebounders, while on the baseball diamond he became one of the best hitters the school had ever seen.
Harrington first saw varsity action during the 1951-52 season as a reserve forward and although that first season he would average only 6.6 points a game off the bench, he showed the ability to become one of the school's best rebounders. That 1951-52 team finished with a 29-8 record and advanced for the first time to the NAIA National championships.
In 1952-53, Harrington became a regular and responded with an outstanding year. He averaged 8.4 points a game and, although rebounding statistics weren't kept much in those days, by all reports he was one of the team's top rebounders. Harrington, who was just as tough playing on the perimeter as he was playing inside, went to the foul line 110 times - the second most on the team - making 69 (62.7 percent). That squad went 27-8 and advanced into the final eight of the NAIA National tournament.
Harrington continued to improve in 1953-54 and in fact was the team's third leading scorer with a 14.0 average. He again was one of the top rebounders as the team went 23-8 and again played in the NAIA National tournament.
He was the team's leading scorer as a senior in 1954-55 when he averaged 13.3 points a game and was the team's top rebounder. The team struggled to just an 11-17 record that year, but rallied late in the season to qualify for the NAIA National tournament for a fourth straight year.
Harrington would finish his career with 1,161 points to currently rank among the top 25 career scorers all-time at Southern Miss.
As a four-year baseball letterman for the Golden Eagles, he posted a .343 career batting average, also was a two-year letterman in track and field.
Pro baseball was his choice over a shot with the New York Knicks, the basketball team that drafted him. The United States Army got him first however.
Following a two-year hitch, he signed for baseball and spent nine years with the Philadelphia Phillies organization. He had a lifetime batting average in the minor leagues of just under .300. He played in one game for the Phillies during the 1963 campaign.
In 1964, Harrington returned to Hattiesburg and back to Southern Miss later assisting coach Pete Taylor with Golden Eagle baseball and as an assistant basketball coach under Jeep Clark and M.K. Turk. In 1982 he moved to the Intramural Department where he opened and built the Southern Miss Equestrian Center from scratch including a riding arena, barn and 3,000 seat set of bleachers. Fifteen times he attended the State of Mississippi Senior Olympics in cycling and three times he won positions to attend the national Senior Olympics.
Harrington was a past President of the State 4-H Program and is a member of the Southern M-Club Hall of Fame. After 28 years of service to Southern Miss, Harrington retired in 1996 leaving a legacy of athletic records and benevolent contributions most notably the creation of the Southern Miss Coca-Cola Classic Rodeo, which continues today in funding many scholarships and leadership academy stipends for students.
Whisby was a three-time All-Metro Conference selection during his Golden Eagle career (1991-95). He ranks second to Clarence Weatherspoon for career blocks (222) and ninth in scoring (1,598 points). He once swatted nine shots in a game against Louisville, one off a school record under legendary coach M.K. Turk and helped lead Southern Miss to the NIT his junior and senior seasons.
Whisby's European career lasted seven years over three stints (1995-00, 2002-03, 2006-07), averaging 11.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game, shooting 52 percent.
Following graduation, Whisby was drafted by Fort Wayne Fury of the Continental Basketball Association in the second round (29th overall) of the 1995 CBA Draft. Instead, he went overseas in 1995 to play for Gijon Baloncesto in Spain and following season, spent the summer playing for the USBL's Florida Sharks, before going back to Spain to join Estudiantes Madrid.
In 1998-99, Whisby played with Pallacanestro Cantu' (Italy), where he averaged 12.6 points and 10.6 rebounds (.538 FG%, .509 FT%) in 25 games, before heading back to Spain in 1999-2000 to play for Gijon. In 2000, Whisby joined Aurora Basket Jesi (Italy), posting averages of 12.0 points and 12.1 rebounds (.543 FG%, .488 FT%) in eight games.
In 2000-01, he played 28 games in Russia with Uniks Kazan, averaging 10.8 points and 9.7 rebounds (.520 FG%, .580 FT%) and in 2001-02, Whisby played in Turkey (Fenerbahce Spor Kulubu Istanbul) and tallied 17.3 points and 13.3 rebounds (.510 FG%, .610 FT%) in 35 contests.
Whisby earned a camp invitation from the Atlanta Hawks during the 2001-02 campaign, before going to France to play for JDA Dijon in 2002-03, averaging 11.1 points and 8.4 rebounds in 15 games that season, before finishing his pro career in 2006-07 in France for Hyeres-Toulon, notching 7.8 points and 7.1 rebounds over 28 contests.