Dean Red Wing Leaves Behind Basketball Legacy

Johnie J. Logue
Enterprise Staff
The great Indian chief has died.
His spirit went to heaven
As the eagle flies.
It is Groundhog Day, February 1, 2019. We are at a basketball game in El Dorado Springs MO. The Warsaw Wildcat’s star player, Matt Luebbert, is struggling with his outside shot. Nothing will fall for him.
Dean Red Wing sits in a corner in a wheel chair. He is losing his battle with kidney failure, but here he is, some 60 miles from home.
His love for the game of basketball and for Warsaw is obvious.
A timeout is called. Red Wing senses Luebbert’s frustration and calls him over and tells him he is watching the ball and not the rim. Luebbert walks back across the court to the huddle. The fact that he didn’t go straight to the huddle shows the respect he had for Dean.
On their next offensive play, Luebbert nails a three from the left hand corner. That in itself, typified Dean’s knowledge and his love for the game of basketball.
Dean Red Wing passed away Thursday, April 4th, at his home in Warsaw. Many of his friends and family members came by in his last days to pay their respects to the dying Indian chief.
Red Wing mentored many players over the years, including Tyler Burke, Boone Kroenke, Aaron Shockley, Sandy Parker, Logan Davis, and too many to mention here.
His three sons, Ronnie, Robbie and Rodney, played  for Warsaw. His brother Ron was All-State at Warsaw. His grandson Kody played at Warsaw and was academic All-State.
Assistant coach and former Warsaw player Anthony Bueke commented, “Not many people supported us in the hard times. Even when I wasn’t playing well,  he was still giving me tips on how to get better. I will never forget the support I received from him. Whatever success I have in my lifetime, I owe a lot to him.”
Bueke and Logan Davis took a signed basketball from the Warsaw basketball  team to Dean’s bed side the day before he died.
Red Wing influenced Warsaw Coaches Kenny Bowden, Bob Campbell, Loren Burke and a host of others.
Red Wing was also a great player as he was All-State in South Dakota. 
He loved teaching the fundamentals of the game. He never had time to coach full time, as he traveled all over the country with his construction company. He oversaw the building of the Warsaw Dam and hung the beams in the WHS gym.
He believed in higher education and all of his family members graduated from college.
His goal in teaching basketball was that the young men he tutored would take the skills and the principles they learned on the court and apply them to life.
It wasn’t just basketball players, as he took young men like Buddy Sanderson to heart.
He was extremely proud of his Indian heritage and passed his many cherished beliefs onto his family.
Red Wing told his sons that it wasn’t how much money you made or how many possessions you have, but it was how big a heart you had for people that would be remembered when you are gone.
In that case, Dean, your memory will truly live on.