Herman “Bucky” Keller
A native of Newport News “Bucky Keller” was a star basketball player at Newport News High School, leading the Typhoons to three consecutive state championships in 1956 to 1958. He was also a quarterback and all-state football player. Keller was the State High School Basketball Player of the Year three times. When he graduated he was the second leading scorer among Group AAA players in Virginia for a career.
From 1959 through 1962, Keller played on three Virginia Tech teams, which posted an overall record of 54 wins and 19 defeats. It was one of the most successful eras in Hokie basketball. As a 6-3, 180 pound swingman, Keller finished his career with an overall scoring average of 18.2 per game. He averaged 15.0 on a 1959-60 team that went 20-6, posted a 17.6 scoring mark in 1960-61 when the Hokies were 15-7, and averaged 21.7 in 1961-62 when Tech finished with a 19-6 record. His career-rebound average was 7.7 per game. Keller was co-captain of the team his senior year in 1961-62. He had a career high 31 points in an upset 87-81 home court win over Wake Forest, a national power at the time with Len Chappell and Billy Packer in the lineup. Throwing up 10-foot jumpers and driving the middle, Keller scored 21 of his points in the second half as Tech held off the rallying Deacons.
Under Coach Chuck Noe, Tech’s season came to a disappointing end when West Virginia trimmed the Hokies 88-72 in the finals of the Southern Conference Tournament. Keller was held to seven points and West Virginia Coach George King said, “Stopping Bucky was the big thing. He’s a great player.” Keller had a knack for drawing fouls. He converted 169 free throws in 1961-62, the third highest total ever for a Tech player.
He worked at Moore Realty Company in Newport News following his graduation from Tech. He passed in 1977 at the age of 37 due to a stroke.