Alling Croquet Club

One of Twinsburg’s more unique sports fads in the middle of the twentieth century was croquet.

The elite of Twinsburg met and played often at the Alling Croquet Club. Led by Dr. R.B. Chamberlin the club was state of the art for its time and even featured a lighted scoreboard. The matches continued after Dr. Chamberlin’s passing in 1955, the only difference being they were conducted with a bronze plaque honoring Dr. Chamberlin present in the southeast corner of the club.

The sport gained such popularity in Twinsburg that the Bulletin printed tournament scores on the front page of the newspaper in the mid 1950s.

Jim Mathis

Possibly the most unique sports story in the annals of Twinsburg history involved one of the more successful athletes to ever reside in the region, Jim Mathis. Amazingly, his many athletic achievements occurred after injuring his spine, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down, at the age of 16. His rehabilitation took almost three years, but it wasn’t too long before he started the Cleveland Comets, who became a member of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.  With that he found himself competing against teams from New York City to St. Louis, but basketball was not to be his most successful sport.

He was in New York City in 1957 when the first Wheelchair Track and Field Games were held in the United States, and decided as somewhat of a lark that he might as well compete in some of the events. Incredibly he won an archery competition, repeating his victory in 1958 and 1959.  And while he finished second in 1960 it qualified him for the 1960 Wheelchair Games held in Rome.  It was the first time the Wheelchair Games were held following the Summer Olympics in the same city. Mathis won the silver medal in Archery at the Rome Olympics, and considers it the most exciting athletic achievement in his career, according to an article he wrote for the Twinsburg Bulletin in 1972.

Noted Wheelchair Athlete in front of his Trophy Cabinet in 1972.

During the 1964 games in Tokyo, Mathias won both a gold and silver medal in the archery competition.  Mathis, who was living in Twinsburg at the time, finished 3rd in the 1972 National Competition and qualified for the U.S. Wheelchair Olympic Team for a 3rd time.  Mathis, who at the time was also giving archery exhibitions in Twinsburg, had the region clearly in his corner when he left for the Olympics. He found himself on the front page of the Bulletin a few times that summer.

Mathis traveled to Heidelberg, Germany to compete in the Wheelchair Olympics, which occurred few weeks before the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.  For the first time he didn’t medal. It was his last Olympics, although by that time he had won three Olympics Medals as well as being a national archery champion four times, having competed in all 16 competitions up to that point. 

Twinsburg High School Girls Basketball Mini-Dynasty

The pride of Twinsburg High School athletics is the girls’ basketball program. From 2011 to 2013 the Lady Tigers parlayed hard work, determination, and great skill into a mini-dynasty, reaching the Division I state finals, three years in a row, and winning the championship on their first two trips.

It was a total team effort that carried the Lady Tigers to three straight finals, but there were two stars who shined brighter than the rest. Malina Howard, who had been receiving national attention since junior high for her hardwood prowess, was the undisputed leader of those championship squads. The six-foot-four basketball dynamo dominated the post in two straight state tourneys, rendering opposing post players defenseless, and sometimes offense-less. In 2012, the same year she led the Tigers to their second consecutive state title, Howard was named Plain Dealer Girls Basketball Player, also for the second straight season. Howard went on to become an Academic All-American at the University of Maryland.

The other star was guard, Ashley Morrissette, who fully blossomed in her senior year, when she was named Ohio’s Ms. Basketball while leading the Lady Tigers to their third straight state final. After graduating from Twinsburg High School, Morissette moved on to Purdue University. In her senior season as a Purdue Boilermaker, she leads the team with over fifteen points per game. 

James Posey

Possibly the greatest, or at least the most successful, athlete to ever emerge from Twinsburg is James Posey. He attended Twinsburg Chamberlin High School and was named the Division II high school basketball player of the year as a senior, in 1995. Aptly capable of playing all five positions, the versatile six-foot-eight senior averaged 24.5 points and 12 rebounds per game. After graduating from Chamberlin, he went on to star at Xavier University. He ranks sixteenth in scoring and tenth in rebounding in the history of Xavier Musketeers basketball. His collegiate success lead to the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association selecting him with the eighteenth pick of the NBA draft. In the NBA, he excelled as a defensive stopper and clutch shooter for numerous teams over the course of his twelve-year career. Twice he was a crucial member of championship winning teams, first with the Miami Heat in 2006 and two years later with the Boston Celtics. Today, he is an assistant coach for the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers.