MORGANTOWN - One of the oldest living West Virginia University men's basketball players has died last Sunday in Rock Hill, South Carolina
Steve "Gobby" Chepko, who was 94, stood out as a 5-foot-9, 151-pound guard/forward on the Mountaineer teams of 1938-39-40. He served as a team captain his senior season.
While a native of Grays Landing, Pa., Chepko was a resident of Morgantown for more than 50 years. He will be remembered by some old-timers as the physical education teacher at Riverside Junior High School for many, many years.
As such, "Gobby" became widely known throughout Morgantown for his Wednesday night roller skating program, his spring physical education shows, and his Friday Night Family Fun events.
He played basketball all three years for the late Coach R.A. "Dyke" Raese in the Old Mountaineer Field House. WVU posted records of 10-9, 13-6, and 13-10.
In all, Chepko is credited with having played in 19 games each of his three varsity seasons. He tallied a total of 106 field goals, 96 free-throws, and 308 points.
His career high was 17 points in a victory over W.Va. Wesleyan as a sophomore. It was in that same year that he also earned a letter in baseball as an outfielder.
Chepko was a 1936 graduate of University High School. He was a three-sport standout for the Hilltoppers before enrolling at WVU.
Athletes were required to play on a freshman team during that period before moving up to varsity level.
He received his bachelor's degree from the university in 1940. Then he returned after serving in military service during World War II and completed post graduate studies for a master's degree in 1948.
After retiring from teaching in Morgantown, "Gobby" moved to Dayton Beach, Fla., where he resided for 17 years. Then he moved to Rock Hill, S.C.
Burial followed in South Carolina.