For over forty years, Houston has held the wheatley wildcat title and the American Kennel Club has also listed it in their list of the most popular breeds. The original intent of the hound was for a hunting dog used to chase the native wildcat but the breed is so much more than that today. Many pet owners own a wheatley because they are such an easy and fun to own with a lot of energy and speed. They are a purebred, which means no pedigrees or breeding issues, which is a big plus when you are looking for a purebred.
It takes a very special person to be a well known breeder and to have such an energetic dog that goes everywhere with his owner. Artrello was a very good hound for his owner Artrello was a world-class high school basketball coach in Houston for many years and he had to keep getting up to speed on how his dog would act in different situations. The dog has always been calm under pressure and has always flown out of the box when necessary. When Artrello was starting to get older he could no longer do the same things he did in his youth, so he had to become more selective about what he wanted his dog to do.
Artrello was a terrific guard for the dwight coaching staff at the time and got second team all four years in high school. He was so good that the coach who was in charge of the Wheatley development had to sit down with Artrello’s owner and chart a course for him. Artrello finally reached the NCAA tournament two years later and went on to play in the US Olympic team and was a first team All Star. He even appeared in the 1996 Olympics and impressed America with his lightning quickness and ability.
Jim Owens was the head basketball coach at the University of Texas when he took over the wheatley program from owens. Jim brought in many athletes and some of them were starters. He was able to get the best athletes in the country in to his program. Jim was a winner at the University of Texas, so he was considered as a national coach star. The Owens made the transition very smooth by bringing in the best players in the country to form a good team. They always stuck with their plan, which was to build a strong defense with great athletes and a great offensive mentality.
Many people have accused the wheatley program of being weak but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. During the time of Jim Owens coach, the Wildcat players believed more in the program than any other team in the country. They believed in themselves and their coach and they believed in the school more than anyone else. The commitment to each player was a big factor in the success of the team and they never quit.
During the time of George Jones, the Wheatley Wildcat team always believed that they would make it to the championship game and they did. They went one and a half seasons without a championship. But after Tarkanian left the school, things changed. The sudden popularity of the Tarkanian’s team created a defensive unit consisting of athletes from all over the country and not just the graduates from the Wheatley School.
The Tarkanian’s basketball team was led by two studs, which were the star in the making in Lew Alcindor and phenominal wing prospect Rashard Lewis. Lewis became a star in the making and was named national junior college player of the year. In the recent past the Wheatley squad has been known for signing top notch high school athletes. However, some of these athletes have turned pro early in their career and thus has hurt the college game.
Even though Tarkanian is gone, the Wheatley Wildcats is still very much alive and looks great. Coach Kerkman has brought in some nice players such as Rashard Lewis, Trevis Johnson, Tariq Wallace, and Travis Cook, who are bringing the “W” back to Wheatley. They play good defense, rebound well, and are led by the ever reliable Lew Alcindor. If you are looking for a basketball team with a good chance of going to the playoffs, then look no further than the Wheatley Wildcats. They are one to watch on TV and in person.