When I was young I thought Luckenbill was an odd name, and that if sounds had looks then Luckenbill would be sort of homely. I was glad I was a Fitzgerald. Eventually -- it being the name of my maternal forebears -- I came to think of Luckenbill as a handsome name. In Indiana last week I met a second cousin, David Luckenbill, who has tracked our Luckenbill line back to a Johan Eckel Luckenbill, a German from very near the Swiss border, who sailed out of Rotterdam on the Thistle of Glasgow, arriving in Philadelphia on August 29, 1730. (There are variations in the spelling of all three of Johan Eckel Luckenbill's names, depending presumably on who did the various transcriptions of the Thistle of Glasgow's passenger list.)
That Johan Luckenbill begat an Abraham and Abraham begat another Johan and this Johan begat yet another Johan and this Johan begat my great-great-grandfather Mathew, whose grave I visited last Thursday.
Another of Mathew Luckenbill's great-great-grandsons (via Mathew's son Ray and then Ray's son, Rex) is named Ted. He was born about five months before me. In the late fifties Ted Luckenbill was a basketball star at Elkhart Central High School in Elkhart, Indiana; if I remember correctly he led his team to the Indiana state finals. After a college career at the University of Houston, he was drafted by the Philadelphia Warriors and has gone down in sports history as a teammate of Wilt Chamberlain when, on March 2, 1962, the latter scored 100 points in a game against the Knicks.
Here's the last moment's play-by-play of that game: With just under a minute to play Chamberlain had 98 points. He took a pass from Guy Rodgers. The Knicks, loathe to go down in history as the team that gave up 100 points to a single player, quintuple-teamed him. Chamberlain still got a shot off but missed. Ted Luckenbill pulled down the rebound and passed the ball to Chamberlain. Again Chamberlain shot and missed. Ted Luckenbill grabbed the rebound of this miss; this time he passed to his fellow forward Joe Ruklick. Ruklick forewent an easy layup and alley-ooped the ball toward Chamberlain. With 46 seconds to go, Wilt slam-dunked it.
There's your hundred points -- thanks to Ted Luckenbill's assist to Joe Ruklick who got the assist for the record books.