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Steven Michael Farney


Streakin Book Cover



  Steven Michael Farney was born and raised in Wilson, Kansas.  At a very early age, he was frequently seen with a basketball in his hands.   From those humble beginnings, he became a three year letterman for the Wilson Dragons and served as co-captain on one of the school’s finest teams.  After high school, he first attended Kansas State University as a walk-on for Wildcat Coach Jack Hartman before transferring to play one season for the St. Mary of the Plains Cavaliers (Dodge City).  He completed his college education (B.S. History Education) at K-State in 1977.  Upon graduation, many people might first remember Steven as musician.   Not only did he have his own dance band but he also was the director of music at many Catholic Churches around the state.
                 One thing has always rivaled his interest in music and basketball and that was Kansas history.  In 2004, he combined the two interests of basketball and history and began to write a series of books about forgotten teams and towns, players and coaches of the Sunflower State.  It has proved to be a perfect, enduring marriage!   Since that day he has authored three books on the subject (book four is set to be released in 2014) and has traveled to over 80 counties in the state speaking about basketball history.  He also has written many newspaper and magazine articles about the origins of basketball in Kansas.  In 2012, he was honored by the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas for his article on the early days of girls’ high school basketball in the state (1908-1921).  Steven has appeared on dozens of television and radio shows and also has been featured in numerous newspaper columns.  These articles, and many other interesting basketball tidbits, can be viewed at his web site (

                In addition, Steven is a screenwriter and with his partner, has produced over 25 screenplays, both feature-length and short film.  The scripts range from historical fiction to the paranormal but one script features the true story of the 1952 Class BB Boys Basketball Champions from Brookville, Kansas.  It is hoped those Cardinals from Brookville will one day appear on the big screen. Currently he, his wife and three children reside in McPherson, Kansas.

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Bibliography ( - housed in Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection)  

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Writing Samples  

     Who's the new guy? If Kansas State students couldn't recognize the new basketball face on campus in the fall of 1939, they weren't alone. No, Wildcat fans knew the names and faces of the four returning lettermen: Ervin Reid, MElvin Seelye, Joe Robertson and Ernier Miller. The new "guy" was not a player. He was actually the new Wildcat basketball coach, Jack Gardner.

     At 29-years-old, Gardner was the youngest coach at any major university or college in the country. A star forward, four-year letterman and captain and MVP on the 1932 University of Southern California team, the youthful Gardner looked more like a player than a coach. Yet in his limited years of head coaching experirence, Gardner was not limited in basketball success. On the contrary, he was already a proven winner.

     After completing his playing days at USC in 1932, Gardner pursued his Master's degree and assisted Trojan basketball coach Sam Barry. While assisting Barry, Gardner also coached the Los Angeles Athletic basketball team to Southern Pacific AAU Championship. In 1933, once graduate school was complete, Gardner landed his first head coaching job at Alhambra, California, High School. In two seasons, Alhambra posted a record of 29-11 and won two championships. In 1935, Gardner moved to Modesto Junior College. There, the young coach won three successive state titles in four seasons. His Modesto teams recorded an overall record of 83-27 during that time. The Gardner reputation grew, not only in California, but far beyond the United States.

---from It's Time!

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