The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame recognizes three men for their contribution as high school basketball officials as the 2019 Men’s Center Circle Officials Award winners.
Mark Masariu, Rick Owens and the late Steve Cherry will be recognized for their officiating careers.
The late Steve Cherry was a 1965 graduate of Shelbyville High School and earned bachelor’s and masters degrees in Radio – Television from Ball State University.
His officiating career included 25 sectionals, 22 regionals, five semi-states, two state finals (1989, 1993) and four Hall of Fame Classic games. He also officiated IHSAA football (1989) and baseball (1983, 1987 & 1991) state finals.
A 30-year member of the CAOA & a 25-year membership with the Indiana Officials Assocation , he served as President of CAOA in 1973 and 1975. The 1990 Roy Gardner Officials Award recipient from the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association, he also officiated freshmen college games at Ball State University and worked JV college games in the Heartland Conference.
A teacher at Pendleton Heights schools from 1969-2005 in speech, radio and television courses, he remained in service to the Arabians athletic department as public address announcer and other roles until his late years.
He was a member of the Pendleton Park Board for 30 years – serving as President for 20 years - Umpire Coordinator of the Pendleton Jr. Baseball Association and had been the Pendleton Jr. High School Intramural Basketball Coordinator.
He passed on January 5, 2018.
Mark Masariu is a 1965 graduate of Danville High School and participated in basketball, baseball and earning all-conference honors in football. A 1970 graduate of Indiana State University, he played football for the Sycamores for one season before injury cut short his playing career. His high school officiating career between 1976-1988 included 14 sectionals, 12 regionals, two semi-states and the 1988 state finals. He twice worked the Hall of Fame Classic, multiple Indiana-Kentucky All-Star games and the 1990 McDonald’s All-American game. He was a member of the Wabash Valley, Western Indiana and North Central Indiana officials associations, holding numerous offices in each. His NCAA Division I experience included regular season and conference tournaments with the MCC/Horizon League, Mid-American Conference, Mid-Continent/Summit League, Great Midwest Conference, Ohio Valley Conference, Missouri Valley Conference and Big 10. He worked five postseason NIT tournaments, one preseason NIT tournament, back-to-back NCAA Division III national semi-finals and reached the Division II regionals. He also worked WBL games in U.S. and Canada and officiated in the movie Blue Chips. Employed as a teacher and coach at Benton Central Community Schools from 1970-75, he was a teacher and coach at Kokomo Center Schools, including Kokomo Haworth and Kokomo high schools from 1975 until retirement in 2002. Married to the former Sally Smiley, he is the father of Lisa, Melissa and Matt and is stepfather to Justin and Stacie. He resides in Kokomo.
Rick Owens is a 1964 graduate of Union (Modoc) High School, where he set the Randolph County basketball career scoring record and remains the school’s career scoring leader with 1,464 points. In addition to four years of basketball, he also played four years of baseball, ran four years of track and three seasons of cross country. He served in the United States Navy from 1966-70 and played Navy basketball and softball. His officiating career included 28 sectionals, 19 regionals, seven semi-states and three state finals (1991, 1995, 1999) as well as the 1998 Tournament of Champions. He was the 2000 recipient of the Roy Gardner Award, given by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. He also is a Past President & Vice President of the Eastern Indiana Officials Association. Also involved in coaching, he coached the Union (Modoc) girls varsity for four years (2000-2004), the Winchester boys varsity for four years (2010-2014), including a 22-3 sectional championship season in 2011 and is currently an assistant boys coach at Monroe Central High School. He is the son of 2010 Center Circle Officials Award winner Homer Owens and they become the first father-son duo to receive the CCO Award in Hall of Fame history. Married to the former Nicki Bosworth, he is the father of Jeri and Dawn. Semi-retired as a bus driver for Randolph Central School Corporation, he resides in Modoc.
All Center Circle Officials Award winners will be honored at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s 58th Annual Men’s Awards Banquet on Wednesday, March 20, 2019.
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.
Banquet reservations are now available through the Hall’s website at www.hoopshall.com/events or by calling (765) 529-1891. For more information, you may also email firstname.lastname@example.org.