1966 TWC Captain Orsten Artis Passes Away at 74
The famed 1966 Texas Western College national championship team lost another key member when captain Orsten Artis passed away today at his home in Merrillville, Indiana. He was 74. Artis, former captain Harry Flournoy (Nov. 26, 2016), Bobby Joe Hill (Dec. 8, 2002), and head coach Don Haskins (Sep. 7, 2008) have all passed away.
"Coach Haskins would say that if they won by 20, Orsten would probably score two, and if they won by two, Orsten would probably score 20," longtime 1966 TWC supporter Joe Gomez tearfully told 600 ESPN El Paso. "He had been sick lately and I last spoke with him two weeks ago. He was a very quiet, deliberate guy. Orsten personified what his job would be when he walked out on the court."
Artis was TWC's third leading scorer in 1965-66, and averaged 12.6 points and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 47 percent from the field and 86.3 percent from the line. He scored 22 points against Utah in the 1966 national semifinals, and collected 15 points and eight rebounds in the historic title game victory over Kentucky. After basketball, Artis became a police detective in Gary, Indiana and he retired after a long and distinguished career in law enforcement. He was inducted into the Indiana Hall of Fame in 2014 and in 2007, he joined his teammates as the only college basketball team to be enshrined in the Naismith Hall of Fame.