The Outstanding Letterman’s Award
is presented annually to a former
Midwestern athlete who excelled
in their career after graduation and
brought honor to the university. James
Draper has done that and more.
Draper lettered in basketball from
to 1966 and helped Midwestern
to three 20-win seasons and two
appearances in the NAIA Tournament
in Kansas City. After his graduation
in 1966, he had a very successful
career with Johnson and Johnson
Pharmaceuticals until his retirement.
Draper has been instrumental in
getting basketball alumni together
for fellowship and fundraising, and
has been a true ambassador for the
Julie Skelton-White made an instant splash to start her two-
year collegiate basketball career at Midwestern State. And
her mark on the record book remains three decades later.
The 5-3 guard from tiny Goree, Texas, earned SWAIAW
All-State and All-Region honors while setting school records
with 110 assists and 178 steals. Tabbed “a diminutive stellar
guard as a team player from the first toss-up” by MSU
legend Dr. D.L. Ligon, Skelton-White helped the Lady
Indians to the TAIAW state semifinals in 1979-80.
She set the current school single-season mark with 241
assists while making 119 steals and averaging 9.7 points a
game during her sophomore season as MSU advanced to
SWAIAW Division II Regionals in Pineville, La. Although
she played just two seasons, Skelton-White remains third on
MSU’s all-time assists chart with 351 and is second in career
steals with 297.
Roger Ellis was born to score the basketball. And he definitely left a lasting impression
on the crowd gathered at Hardin Gym on Feb. 27, 1962, when he poured in a school
record 46 points against McMurry to finish his career with a then-school record 1,356
career points. The single-game scoring mark would remain in the books for the next
years, but the Indians narrowly missed out on the NAIA National Tournament that
season despite Ellis leading the team with 20.3 points while grabbing 8.4 rebounds a
game alongside MSU legend John Henry Young.
The 6-6 forward from Dallas
spent his freshman season of
on the junior varsity
squad then tallied 6.7 points
and 4.9 rebounds in 32 games
during his first season on the
varsity squad as a sophomore.
Ellis erupted for 15 games
with at least 20 points and
scored 30 or more points
on five occasions while
averaging 21.1 points and
rebounds a contest as a