Former W-M standout Bill Roundtree pays visit to alma mater

By: 
Theo Tate

Former Wellsville-Middletown basketball standout Bill Roundtree visited his old school on June 29 with eight of his family members. Pictured, from left, are brother Christopher Roundtree, sister Vinita Roundtree and Bill Roundtree. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Four decades ago, Bill Roundtree was a standout for the Wellsville-Middletown boys basketball team, scoring 3,243 points and helping the Tigers reach the Missouri State Final Four twice.

On June 29, Roundtree got a chance to come back to his alma mater to reminisce about his playing days with eight of his family members. They were older sister Vinita, younger brother Christopher, wife Teana, nephews Max and Myles, nieces Jadyn and Heather and sister-in-law Sandy. Vinita and Christopher graduated from W-M in 1977 and 1991, respectively.

“We were blessed to be moved and be transferred back to Missouri several years ago,” said Roundtree, who graduated from W-M in 1982. “That has given me an opportunity to really keep up with the Wellsville Tigers. We’ve got friends who have kids going to school there now. It feels good. It’s special to be able to get back to your hometown and stay engaged.”

Roundtree said W-M Superintendent Dr. Erin Oligschlaeger and secretary Michelle Stroup — who went to school with Roundtree — allowed him and his family to visit the school.

“We were really proud of the open arms that Erin Oligschlaeger and Michelle in welcoming us, asking us to come back at any point of time that we want to and making everybody feel at home,” Roundtree said.

Roundtree said he was thrilled to see Christopher, who hasn’t visited W-M in over 10 years.

“The special thing about that was his sons (Max and Myles) are getting ready to go to the University of Utah,” Roundtree said. “They live in Los Angeles, California. We were talking with Max and Miles about our experience. Max just graduated (from high school) and there were 520 people in his graduating class.”

Roundtree is the No. 2 all-time leading scorer in Missouri high school basketball history with 3,243 points. He played with the Tigers from 1978-82. He helped W-M finish fourth in Class 2 in his sophomore year and place runner-up in Class 1 the following year. 

Roundtree said he enjoyed his time at W-M. He went on to play college ball at Mizzou, where he helped the Tigers win 81 games.

“It really provided me with an opportunity to get a college education,” he said. That was extremely important. The reality is I knew when I was in eighth or ninth grade that if I was going to get a college education, I had to find a way to do it because my parents weren’t able to finance it. Early on, it was a driving force for me to get there and to get a college scholarship.”

Roundtree was the top scorer in Missouri high school basketball history for several years until Fred Johnson, who also played for W-M, took over the top spot in 1986.

“What are the odds that I broke that record that stood for years and then a young man from my high school actually broke my record?” Roundtree said. “I played with Fred’s older brothers.”

Roundtree said during his visit to W-M, he was amazed with the facilities the school has for the sports teams, such as baseball and basketball.

“On our ride back home, we talked about the baseball program they were building and the facilities that they were able to have for the sports teams,” Roundtree said. “So why is that special? Because you just don’t know in smaller, rural towns in Missouri if they have the ability to do those types of things. It’s an honest assessment. We were really proud of what they’ve done.” 

Roundtree is currently working as a vice president of agency and sales at State Farm. He has been with the company since 1986.

Roundtree has a daughter, Jordan, who played with the Mizzou women’s basketball program from 2016-20. She recently earned a Master’s degree in business administration from the Columbia school.

 

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