Throwback Thursday: The Ashley Aces

Willennar Genealogy Center’s collection is full of Throwback Thursday potential, so let’s get our #TBT on!


We recently received a pretty cool donation at the Willennar Genealogy Center: this enormous picture of the Ashley Aces basketball team, taken after winning Sectionals for the very first time. It stands at about five-by-four feet in its wooden frame.



The Aces won sectionals two times during Ashley High School’s history. This picture was taken after the first win, for the 1945-46 basketball season.

The second time around, they almost pulled a “Milan miracle,” getting all the way to the final for regionals in March 1964. The Aces would have made it to state if Garrett hadn’t stopped them in overtime with a score of 62-59.

Ashley High School

There’s one interesting detail I want to point out in the team’s picture: it looks like every uniform number in this picture is doubled digits (e.g. “22,” “00,” “33,” etc.), but what’s really interesting is that they go up past five (or “55,” in this case.)

Why? Because it’s generally against basketball rules for jersey number to be made up of any digits other than 0 through 5. In fact, it’s in the official rules for the NCAA, and for several high schools as well. Apparently, the rule was put in place so that referees could more easily do hand-signals for players’ numbers.

Just imagine the referee trying to signal for player “99.”


Want to see more local history? Click here to search our online photo database.


About Katy

Some of the books I've recently come to love include Signal To Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, The Just City by Jo Walton, Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead, and Bug In A Vacuum by Melanie Watt. I'm a firm believer in the power of the Oxford comma.
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