Editorial: Congratulations, thanks belong to Doc Elder

Donald "Doc" Elder has brought multiple accolades to eastern New Mexico. The latest was announced this week: The Portales history professor by day is the Lone Star Conference Broadcaster of the Year.

In June, Eastern New Mexico University's golden voice was named to the New Mexico Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

We offer congratulations for his success, and thank him for helping us keep up with the Greyhounds and Zias.

And we'd like to share something a little more personal as well: an email we received this week from Elder's friend and co-worker, Wendel Sloan.

Sloan is the media relations director at ENMU. Here's what he wrote when we asked him to tell some stories about the 60-year-old Elder:

"Doc Elder is the eternal fountain of youth in noontime basketball at Eastern New Mexico University. He has been playing for 17 years almost every day against primarily students.

"Although he has several decades on them, he is in better shape than any of them, and a better shooter. He can drive the ball inside and lay it up on them, shoot medium range jumpers over them, and makes a higher percentage of three-pointers than most NBA players. He is the leading scorer in 90 percent of the games, and is also the only one who always knows the correct score.

"Playing with other ENMU employees, the oldsters have probably won at least 75 percent of their games against the students. While the students start running out of gas by the third or fourth pickup game, Doc is streaking past them for full-court passes for layups.

"Incidentally, often after the hour-plus basketball sessions end, he heads to the racquetball court to play Steve Rooney for another hour.

"He is also often seen jogging on the ENMU track early in the morning or evenings.

"Of course, he is also legendary for his golf and tennis games.

"The most amazing feat that I have personally ever witnessed was seeing him drink six glasses of tea with a meal before a doubleheader basketball game against West Texas (A&M University), then sit through both games without ever once getting up from the announcer's chair to take a break.

"Doc is the most well-conditioned athlete who qualifies for the senior discount at Furr's that I have ever seen. In fact, he is in better condition than anyone that I know, regardless of age.

"But the most impressive thing about Doc is the way he treats people, showing a genuine interest in their conversation, respecting their opinion and being generous with his resources.

"Despite his many accolades, Doc always remains humble with unquestionable integrity in everything he does.

"This does not even touch on his many academic achievements, including being a NASA and Civil War expert, and the thousands of miles he drives every year announcing Portales High School and ENMU games."

Thank you for that insight, Wendel Sloan.

And thank you, Doc Elder, for representing our region and our university with so much effervescence and class.

Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the Clovis Media Inc. editorial board, which includes Publisher Ray Sullivan and Editor David Stevens.

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