A vital member of Huntsville High Schools 1930 state championship basketball team, John Dan McLemore was the first player from Madison County to be selected to the Alabama All-State team. John was the best basketball guard Id ever seen, said the late local historian James Record, who once co-chaired a committee to single out the countys best athletes. McLemore grew up in Toney and learned to play basketball on a dirt court. He moved to the home of his sister, Mrs. Myrtle Rodenhauser, in order to be eligible to play at HHS. He later worked at NASA as a crane operator for 34 years. At Huntsville High, McLemore played for Jesse Keene, who taught history and coached football, basketball and baseball in the early years of the Great Depression. The 1930 state champions, who finished 30-2, featured guards McLemore and Gene Williams, forwards Jack Strong and Joe Pruitt, and center Pete Keene. Pruitt was the only player on the team who actually lived in the Huntsville High area. All the others played at HHS thanks to Coach Keenes skillful recruiting, a common practice of that era. Keenes kid brother Pete was imported from Nashville to play football and basketball, and McLemore moved into town and lived with his sister so he could play for Keene. Strong lived in the county, north of Normal, but stayed with an aunt in town during the week. The two Keenes and Williams lived at the YMCA. Jesse Keene coached the HHS football team to an undefeated season in 1929, the year of the stock market crash, then went directly into basketball. It was the era of the center jump after every made basket. HHS opened with a 24-10 win over Madison and won 10 in a row before a stunning 16-15 loss to Geraldine on the road. The Panthers won a rematch 27-24 the next night, then won five straight, including a 52-10 romp over archrival Decatur. The only other loss was 21-18 to Rogersville, a team HHS had whipped 48-21 three weeks earlier. Keene rented two 1929 Fords for the trip to the state tournament. The Panthers won all four games in Tuscaloosa, beating Rogersville 38-19, Goodwater 24-22, Sidney Lanier 27-22 and Hackleburg 22-11. Pete Keene and John McLemore were named All-State. In 1934, Coach Keene left Huntsville and taught history at the University of Tampa until his retirement years later. His successor at HHS was a former University of Tennessee player named Milton Frank. 1978, Huntsville High honored the 1930 basketball team with a reunion organized by faculty member Jim Oaks. Jesse Keene and three former players Williams, Pete Keene and McLemore were the guests of honor. McLemore died in 1989 at the age of 78. He and his wife, Pauline, had three children: Jack McLemore of Huntsville, John D. McLemore, Jr., of Decatur, and Polly Anne McLemore of Toney.