Niles, Buchanan honor Weaver, announce scholarship

Published 12:31 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2023

NILES — Prior to the Buchanan at Niles boys basketball game Monday night, the two schools honored the life and legacy of the late Bill Weaver.

Weaver, a 1974 graduate of Niles High School, was a standout basketball player for the Vikings. To this day, Weaver still holds nine all-time records at Niles, including the all-time leading scorer with 1,324 points, 46 points in a single game, most free throws made in a single season and best free throw percentage.

Those numbers are even more impressive when you consider they were established in three seasons. High school in the mid-1970s consisted of 10th, 11th and 12th grade. There was also no 3-point line during his era.

Weaver passed away at the age of 67 on Nov. 21, 2022.

Weaver’s best season came in 1973-74 when he led Niles to a 22-3 record and a No. 12 state ranking in Class A. The Vikings won their first district championship for the first time in 13 years and advanced to regional finals for the first time in school history.

Niles defeated Lansing Everett 62-49 in the regional semifinals, but was eliminated by Battle Creek Central 70-63 in the title game.

He was selected first-team Class A All-State by the Detroit Free Press.

Weaver went on to star at Eastern Michigan University on a “full-ride” scholarship. Weaver led Eastern Michigan in scoring his junior season and was named team captain as a senior.

He graduated with a teaching degree specializing in physical education. He did his postgraduate work at Western Michigan University and Michigan State University.

Weaver graduated with a bachelor of arts degree. He landed a teaching job at Buchanan Middle School. He spent the next 25 years teaching in the district.

Weaver took up coaching the Bucks, where he spent 21 seasons at the helm of the girls basketball team. He retired in 2009 with a career record of 340-132, which included nine Lakeland Conference championships, seven Class C District championships, two regional titles and a pair of Final Four appearances.

In 1990, the Bucks captured the Class C state championship with a 42-34 over heavily-favored Detroit Country Day.

At halftime of the Buchanan-Niles game, which the Vikings won 65-48, a game ball was presented to Weaver’s wife Pam.

The creation of the Bill Weaver Memorial Scholarship was also announced at the game, which will be presented every year, including this year, to a male Niles High School student and a female Buchanan High School student.

Perspective winners much have good sportsmanship and character. It would be preferred that the students have an association with the basketball programs.