Jerome Franklin "Jerry"
Sep 27, 1935 - Oct 5, 2021
Posted by Terry Dudley
Brown' Funeral Service
Born to gypsy type parents, his entrance into this world was less than ideal. He was born premature in a bar ditch, to walking parents, in the middle of a rain storm and then placed in his very first bed which was a shoe box. He was not expected to live throughout the night. But that was only the beginning of Jerry’s need to overcome! At the age of 3, his mother fell ill to TB, and was placed in a sanitorium and was faced at 21 years of age with the painstaking decision to place Jerry in Tipton orphanage. Uneducated herself, it was her dying request that Jerry get an education. At age 16, Jerry was adopted by Edgar Lee Shipp and Nettie Ozella (Dicus) Shipp. Jerry came to Bryan County in 1952 from the Tipton Orphan’s Home in Tipton, Oklahoma. He was a graduate of Blue High School and attended Southeastern State College in the fall of 1955. With many scholarship offers on the table, he chose to go to SOSU playing for the Southeastern Savages for four years, from 1955-1956 through 1958-1959. It was there where he met the love of his life, Novaline. Jerry was recognized as “one of the greatest basketball players in the history of Southeastern Oklahoma State University”. Shipp led the conference in scoring twice, was a three-time all- conference performer, and set two different conference records: points in a game (54) and most free throws made without a miss (19). In 1978, he was inducted into the school’s hall of fame, and in 2007, Shipp was inducted in the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. After graduation, Jerry was selected in the 1959 NBA Draft by the New York Knickerbockers. He was taken in the 9th round as the 64th overall pick. Shipp, however, opted to play in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) instead in order to retain his “amateur” status. Back then, only amateurs were allowed to compete in international competition while representing their country, such as the Pan American, FIBA World Championship and Summer Olympic Games. During the next five years Shipp played for the AAU powerhouse Phillips 66ers. He played in three consecutive national championships with them between 1962 and 1964, winning the title the first two times. During these three seasons he was also named an AAU All-American. Shipp finished his career at the highest scoring non-center in Phillips 66ers history (Bob Kurland, a center, was the team’s all-time leading scorer). Representing the USA, Shipp won two gold medals in less than two years while playing for the basketball team. At the 1963 Pan American Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the U.S. swept the competition en route to a perfect 6-0 record. He averaged 15.0 points per game, the highest on the team, while making 42 field goals and six free throws. On the 1963 FIBA World Championship team, the U.S. cruised out of the preliminary round with a 3-0 record. They stumbled in the final round, however, going 3-3 (6-3 overall) and did not win a medal, finishing in fourth place. Shipp led the team in scoring at 15.7 points per game in nine games played. At the 1964 Summer Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan, Shipp played alongside future Hall of Famers Bill Bradley and Larry Brown, as well as veritable basketball stars Walt Hazzard, Jeff Mullins and Joe Caldwell. It was Shipp, however, that led the team in scoring. He guided Team USA to an unblemished 9-0 record while averaging 12.4 points per game- 2.3 points more per game than Bradley, who was second on the team in scoring. In a 69-61 win over Yugoslavia during the Group Stage, Shipp scored a personal tournament-high 22 points and accounted for nearly one-third of the team’s total offense. In the championship game against the Soviet Union, who also entered the contest with an 8-0 record like the United States, he scored 10 points in the 73-59 win to earn the gold medal. Toward the end of 1964, fresh off two AAU national championships, three AAU All-American honors, and two gold medals with Team USA, Shipp was nominated as a finalist for the James E. Sullivan Award. It is an award given by the AAU to “the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States”. Shipp was inducted into the Helms Athletic Foundation and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Halls of Fame. After retiring from playing, he went on to work as a salesman for Phillips Petroleum in Georgia and Florida. His heart was never in it, he always knew that he needed to coach. In 1972, he moved back to Durant where he worked in the car sales/convenience store business, until he could decide where he wanted to coach. After touring many schools, he just felt like Kingston was his home. In 1975, he moved his family to Kingston and began his career as an educator and a coach. That was his passion and dream. He loved his students and players. In 1997, he decided to retire, but continued to work as a substitute teacher in Plainview, Oklahoma well into his 70s. Jerry always had a soft spot for underprivilege children, because he was one. But, in his own words I write “just because you were not born with a silver spoon, or just because you come from a small town and small school, always follow your dreams! With dedication, anyone can achieve anything, I know, I’m living proof”!
Jerry also served with the Army Reserves from 1960-1978 and was very proud of his service. He was a true patriot. Jerry was a member of the Church of Christ. He enjoyed basketball, playing golf, going fishing, bbqing with family and friends and metal detecting.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Jerry is survived by his children, Darren Shipp and wife, Janene, Shannon Cooper and husband, Troy, and Sherra Aguilar and husband, Jason; grandchildren, Jeremy Shipp and wife, Shyanne, Jerry Shipp, Justin Vernon and wife, Ciera, Daniel Shipp and wife, Haley, and Elliott Evans; and great-grandchildren, Clayton, Keelan, Kaiden, Aubree, Lawson, Max, Violet and Ellie.
Services to celebrate Jerry's life will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, Oct. 16th, at the First Baptist Church in Madill, Oklahoma. Chris Webb will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, Jerry asked that monetary donations may be sent to Tipton Children’s Home 1000 North Broadway Ave. Tipton, OK 73570 or by calling 580-667-5221.
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