News & Updates

2016 Mens Center Circle Officials announced

December 8, 2015

Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Announces 2016 Mens
Center Circle Officials Award Winners

 Ken Gorrell, Franklin
Rex Nichols, Mooresville
Jim Schwenk, Jasper (deceased)

 NEW CASTLE – The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame recognizes three men for their contribution as high school basketball officials as the 2016 Mens Center Circle Officials Award winners.

Ken Gorrell, Rex Nichols and the late Jim Schwenk will be recognized for their officiating careers.

Ken Gorrell is a 1963 graduate of Southwestern (Shelby) High School, where he participated in four sports. A three-year varsity letterman in basketball, he lettered four times in baseball, four years in cross country and four years in track, setting the school record in the 220-yard dash and winning the school’s all-sports award three times. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Ball State, where he set track records, including the Little State 100-yard dash record, and earned a master’s degree from Indiana University.

Gorrell worked 13 sectionals, 11 regionals, eight semi-state and three state finals in his career, including the 1979 state semi-final game between eventual state champion Muncie Central and Argos, the 1981 state semi-final game between eventual state champion Vincennes Lincoln and Shenandoah and the 1985 state championship game between Marion and Richmond in Market Square Arena.

Gorrell received the Roy Gardner Award in 2006, given by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.

A member of the Southeastern and Indiana Officials Associations, he served as President in the Southeastern Officials Association. Gorrell spent five years as a basketball clinician at the high school and college levels.

Gorrell and his wife Janet (Walters) have three children. Retired after 44 years as a teacher in the Franklin Community School Corporation, he resides in Franklin.


Rex Nichols is a 1966 graduate of Granville Wells High School, now a part of Western Boone schools, where he participated in basketball, baseball, golf and cross country. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana State University and earned a master’s degree at DePauw University.

During his career, Nichols worked 30 sectionals, 24 regionals, nine semi-states and five state finals. Among his state finals work was the 1994 state championship game that South Bend Clay won in overtime against Valparaiso, 93-88, which remains the highest scoring state championship game in history as well as the 2008 3A championship game, noted for Luke Zeller’s halfcourt buzzer-beater in overtime that lifted Washington over Plymouth. Nichols also called the 1998 3A, 2002 2A and 2008 1A boys class championship games as well as the 1985 and 1988 Hall of Fame Classic tournaments.

He was the 2015 recipient of the Roy Gardner Award, given by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association and has been recognized by the IHSAA and National Federation of High Schools’ Officials Association with the Outstanding Basketball Official Award.

Involved with the Indiana Officials Association, Nichols worked as a rules interpreter for young officials, served as a mentor for officials and spent four years as a clinician.

Nichols has four children and two step-children with wife Pamela (Wilson). For 30 years, he has been the owner of the Nichols Insurance Agency in Mooresville, where he resides.


The late James “Jim” Schwenk was a 1945 graduate of Ireland High School in Dubois County, where he was a three-year basketball letterman. He served in the United States Navy following high school.

Schwenk worked 17 sectionals, 11 regionals, five semi-states and two state finals in his career, which also included college experience in the Indiana Collegiate Conference and the Hoosier Conference.

Among his state finals experience, Schwenk officiated the 1968 state semi-final game between Indianapolis Shortridge and Marion and the 1969 state semi-final between Gary Tolleston and undefeated Vincennes Lincoln.

Until his death in 2001, Schwenk was the owner and operator of Haysville Mill in Jasper since 1953 and President of Ireland Feed and Grain since 1966. He was a two-term President of the Indiana State Poultry Association, received the 1985 “Golden Egg Award” as outstanding poultryman of Indiana and served on the executive board of the National Turkey Federation for five years.

He and wife Betty (Krelein) had four daughters and resided in Jasper.


All Center Circle Officials Award winners will be honored at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s Annual Men’s Banquet on Wednesday, March 23, 2016.

A midday reception, free and open to the public, will be held at the Hall of Fame museum in New Castle. The evening banquet will take place at the Primo Banquet Hall, which is located on the south side of Indianapolis.

Reservation forms will be made available in early 2016, or tickets can be reserved now through the Hall’s website at Call the Hall at 765-529-1891 or email [email protected] for more information. You may purchase a congratulatory ad for an inductee or honoree either online or through the mail.