Former Glendale College men’s basketball coach Abe Androff loves to tell the story about when Ron Wielochowski tried out for the team in 1962. "I knew he was a talented player and I know that he liked to drive to the basket so we played a little one on one,’’ said Androff, who was inducted into the hall of fame in 2004. " I tried a few tricks to cut off his path to the basket but he was very strong and determined. Right then I knew he had what it took to become a very special player."
"Wielo", as he is still known to his friends and coaches from his Glendale College days, was as complete an offensive player to ever play for the Vaqueros. He owns most of the scoring records for the Vaqs, including highest scoring average in conference, 33.5, season, 30.5 and career, 23.8 points per game. He also holds team records for most points scored in a season, 855, and during conference play, 467, all set during the 1963-64 season
In a recent poll of community college sports information directors throughout California, the 64 points he scored in a game against Los Angeles Harbor College in 1964 was determined to be a state record.
Wielochowski’s path to Glendale College took a bit of a curious route. He was originally from New Jersey and relocated to Burbank to work at Lockheed Aircraft, where he held down a full time job before and during the time he played for the Vaqueros. Androff first heard about him from a friend who saw him play for adult league teams in Burbank in the evenings.
Androff also recalled that Wielochowski tried to play first at Los Angeles Valley College but the coach was not interested and never returned his phone calls. "I think we beat Valley each time we played them with Ron and I think that last game when he was a sophomore, Ron reminded him that he should have returned his call and offered him a chance to tryout.’’ Androff said.
After his success at Glendale, he transferred to Southern Nevada University following the 1964 season. Southern Nevada later changed its name to the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and Wielochowski lettered for the team for two seasons from 1964 to 1966 despite a knee injury that cut short his playing time.
Wielochowski has lived in Las Vegas for over 40 years since his basketball career ended and has turned his energy to working for several charitable organizations. They are the Candlelighter’s Association, Child Haven and Wednesday’s Child. He was honored as the UNLV Alumni of the Year in 1985 and the Candlelighter’s and Daily Point of Light service awards.