Texas Western’s 1966 championship team captain Orsten Artis passes away

Jeremy Carranco, Sports Editor

Orsten Artis, team captain on Texas Western’s 1966 national championship team, passed away at his home in Merrillville, Ind. on Tuesday. He was 74 years old.

The Miners have lost both captains from the 28-1 squad that won the only Division I men’s basketball national championship in the state of Texas. Harry Flournoy passed away on Nov. 26, 2016.

Artis was Texas Western’s third-leading scorer during the 1965-66 season, averaging 12.6 points and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 47 percent from the field and 86.3 percent from the line.

The 6-1 guard lettered for the Miners for three seasons (1963-66), averaging 10.5 points per game as a sophomore and 11.2 points per game as a junior. He helped Texas Western to a 69-13 record and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances (1964, 1966).

Artis scored 22 points against Utah in the 1966 national semifinals, and collected 15 points and eight rebounds in the historic title game victory over Kentucky. Artis scored in double figures in each of the Miners’ five NCAA Tournament games in 1966.

Artis is enshrined in both the UTEP Athletics and Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2007, the national champs were inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

He retired after a long career as a detective with the Gary, Ind. police department.

Artis is preceded in death by his wife, Fredinea, and his son, Rex.

Funeral and memorial service arrangements are forthcoming.