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Art Helms

ART HELMS
Basketball, 1952-54
Inducted February 20, 1993

Art Helm’s spent two seasons with the basketball Bears as part of the memorable era in the early 1950s when SMS was among the nation’s elite on the NAIA cage scene.  A native of Crocker, MO, Helms transferred to SMS in 1952-53 from the University of Missouri and became a starting forward as a sophomore as the Bears of Coach Bob Vanatta set out to defend their NAIA national crown. Helms was the third leading scorer on the potent 1952-53 team, averaging 11.3 points a game as SMS captured the MIAA title and repeated the national crown in a 24-4 season.  The following year, Helms was the dominant player on a 21-6 ballclub which chalked up another league title, won the NAIA District 16 title for the third year in a row, and advanced to the NAIA tournament semifinals before losing and eventually taking third in the nation.  Helms averaged 16.2 points in 1953-54 and his two-year total of 750 points ranked seventh best in career scoring among the people who had played for SMS at that time, and it was the third best total for two-year players at SMS. Helms had a 13.6 scoring average over the course of 55 SMS games played.  He was on the MIAA all-conference first team in 1954 and was named to the NAIA All-America second team for the 1953-54 season.  He transferred from SMS to the University of Houston where he was an all-conference player, and later was a standout AAU performer.