Meadville has seen its share of talented basketball players over the last several decades. And Charlie Anderson said Chris Buchanan will always rank right up there with each and every one of them.
Buchanan, Meadville’s second all-time leading scorer, passed away on Monday at his home. He was 63.
“Heck of a guy,” said Anderson, former Tribune sports editor and retired local businessman. “Nice guy. His passing is kind of shocking people. He was outstandingly friendly in the community here.
“He had some problems during his early life like a lot of people do. But he became a nice family man. He became a hard worker and was a real plus to our community.”
But Anderson said, it is Buchanan’s skills on the basketball floor that he will most likely be remembered for.
“He helped make the ‘House of Thrills,’” Anderson said of the Meadville Area Senior High School gym’s famous nickname.
Buchanan played for the Bulldogs and legendary head coach Norm Sundstrom from 1964 to 1967. During his career, the 6-foot-8 center earned all-state first team honors and was invited to participate in Pittsburgh’s Dapper Dan Roundball Classic with western Pennsylvania all-stars, where he earned most valuable player honors.
Buchanan finished his career with a school-record 1,467 points — a record he held until 1987 when Mike Burnett finished his career with 1,667 points.
“He was a whale of a basketball player,” Anderson said. “He was 6-8 and brought the ball up the court. I enjoyed watching him. I got to know him and conspired with other sports writers in northwestern Pennsylvania and across the state to get him to become an all-stater. But if you looked at his statistics, you had no problem voting for him.”
Buchanan received a scholarship to Central State University in Ohio. In 1968, Buchanan, one of two freshmen starters, helped lead Central State to its second National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics title in four years with a 51-48 win over Fairmont State College at Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium.
Buchanan was named to the first team All-NAIA tournament squad.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete and under the direction of Stephen P. Mizner Funeral Home & Cremation Services Inc., 404 Chestnut St., Meadville.
Lisa Byers can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter @Tribune_Sports and like us on Facebook.