Kelly Wise Gym a piece of Picayune Memorial High School history

The Kelly Wise Gym was named in honor of former student and basketball team champion, Kelly Wise, who died in the 1966 Crosby Chemical explosion. Photo by Alexandra Hedrick

The Kelly Wise Gym was named in honor of former student and basketball team champion, Kelly Wise, who died in the 1966 Crosby Chemical explosion.
Photo by Alexandra Hedrick

Picayune High School’s Kelly Wise Gym has been home to many victories and has seen many students pass through its doors. Those games and students have been the subject of stories, but what about the story behind the gym’s name.

Kelly Wise was a student at Picayune High School from 1962 – 1966. After graduating in 1966, he took a summer job at Crosby Chemical Company plant before he started school at Pearl River Junior College.

On his last week at the plant, an explosion occurred, which left him severely burned. Wise later died of his injuries at Crosby Memorial Hospital.

The Picayune Item wrote in 1966 that Wise was a member of the 1965-66-championship basketball team, an honor student, served on the student council for four years and was a student council officer in his senior year.

On Jan. 6, 1967, the new junior high school gym was dedicated to Wise. Over 2,000 people attended the dedication and basketball game that followed.

At the dedication, then basketball head coach Larry Ladner, said, “Kelly Wise exemplified everything that I would ever hope that our Maroon Tide basketball players or students of Picayune Memorial High School would. He was truly an idealist, the kind of boy we would want our own to be.”

Superintendent and former head boy’s basketball coach, Dean Shaw, said there were very few games that the basketball team lost at the Kelly Wise Gym while he was coach.

“Out of all the high school gyms I’ve ever coached or played in, Kelly Wise gym is my favorite,” Shaw said.

He said the great atmosphere of the gym allows the team to have an advantage at home and it’s not a pleasant place for the visiting team to come play.

“Our players and fans take great pride in the Kelly Wise Gym,” Shaw said.

The next chance for local fans to see action at Kelly Wise come tonight when the Picayune Maroon Tide tries to snap a two game losing streak by hosting the St. Stanislaus Rockashaws.

 

SportsPlus

News

MDOT Announces Construction Updates for Pearl River County

News

City Council Meeting Recognizes Longtime Employee and Local Achievers

Columns

Then and Now: NASA Stennis Continues Frontline Support of Space Exploration

News

Pearl River County SPCA Announces Expansion of HOPE Thrift Store

News

PRC Graduate Wins Scholarship

News

Picayune Mayor’s Youth Council Selects 2024-2025 Members

News

BEAM Program Prepares for BEAD Challenge Process in Poplarville

News

Picayune Police Request Public Assistance to Locate Missing Teen

News

Body of boy recovered in waters behind Vinton Welcome Center

News

How a NASA Engineer Supports the Commercialization of Space

News

Carriere Teen Adleigh Fricke to Compete in Distinguished Young Woman Competition

News

Picayune Hosts 3rd Annual Independence Day Celebration

News

Wrong-Way Driver on I-59 Apprehended After Collision with Patrol Unit

News

City Council Attends MLL Award Ceremony, Honors Mayor’s Youth Council for City Spirit

News

Helena Hansen to Represent Pearl River County in Mississippi Miss Hospitality Competition

News

MML Honors 2024 Municipal Excellence Awards Winners at Annual Conference

News

Pearl River County SPCA Launches “20K for 20K” Fundraiser

News

Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Makes Multiple Drug Arrests

News

Pearl River Man Sentenced to 30 Years for Production of Child Pornography

News

April Holifield Honored at 43rd Quilt Show & Competition

News

For Pearl River Hall of Fame inductee Nick Smith, Pearl River was the right place at the right time

News

Injured Army Veteran Receives Mortgage-Free Smart Home from Tunnel to Towers

News

Man Apprehended by Police K-9 Trea Following Traffic Stop

News

Chapel Hart Headlines Free Community Concert at Dobie Holden Stadium