By Kia Croom
Clyde Hardeman made history as one of Richmond’s greatest athletes.
He particularly remembers participating in the Twilight League at Shields Reid Park in North Richmond.
Charlie Reid and Carl Lawson founded the league, but it was players like Hardeman, J.D. Banks and Joe Dorsey who brought basketball enthusiasts to the field.
“People from all over the Bay and Northern and Southern California came to play ball and even watch the games,” Hardeman said.
Pro athletes who supported the league included Bill Russell, Paul Silas, Ed Thomas, Mike Farmer and others.
Hardeman’s basketball career started at Richmond Union High School, where he was named the 1954 scoring champion in the Alameda County Athletic League. He went on to attend Contra Costa College, taking the team to a championship in 1956.
Hardeman was married in 1955. He had to juggle work at Crown Zellerback Paper Company and a family with his three-year-career, playing semi-pro basketball with the Melody Ramblers.
In 1977, Hardeman was inducted into the Sacramento State Tournament Hall of Fame.
After retiring from basketball and leaving Crown Zellerback, Hardeman worked as a Teamster for 31 years at various sites including Montgomery Wards in Richmond and the Oakland Army Base before he retired in 1984.
Today, Hardeman still lives in Richmond and is a proud grandfather.