1988 Greater Flint Afro-American Hall of Fame Inductee
Son: Agustus Wells, Jr.
Daughter’s: Alice Stein, Gail
Gus Wells career began in Flint in an era when discrimination was a common practice. Blacks were not allowed to practice in gym’s throughout the city at various recreation centers, making it hard for them to perfect their skills in sports. A lean broad shouldered youngster he refused to let it destroy his desire to become one of the great basketball player’s produced in Flint. Gus was a tough competitor during those years. There was nothing he enjoyed more than playing basketball.
There were many accomplishments throughout his career. He played a key role on the 1936 All-City, All-Saginaw Valley, State Championship Team at Northern High School.
After graduation Gus joined the ranks of Flint’s best basketball players in the City League. He became an instant star and lead his team, F.R.C. to City and Play-off Championships. In 1937 and 1938 he was the teams leading scorer. Gus scored the City Leagues first 30 point game in a 68-40 romp over Kennedy on February 21, 1938. He also won the city scoring championship in 1939.
Teamed with what many area sports writers called the greatest City League team ever assembled, the 1939-1940 Catsman Coal Team, Gus was the second leading scorer on the team, following the great Floyd Bates. The late Jim Barcley once said “Catsman Coal was the greatest he saw in his years of coaching at Northern High School and officiating in the City League.” In 1940 Catsman Coal were the A.A.U. Champions, the City Champions in 1943 and the YMCA Holiday Tour Champions in 1943.
In his career Gus scored over 200 points six consecutive years, and scored over 1,500 points over a period of 10 years. One of his greatest moments in his career was defeating the City All Star Team made up of the best basketball players in the City of Flint. Wells said, “Some of the player’s on that great Catsman Team were Dotson and Grady Truss, Bates, Wayne Thomas and Wilfred Heller.” He later played with some other good players on other teams, such as Max Brandon, Jim Luckado and Andrew Brown. According to Gus, it was hard to play sometimes when you had to beat the opponent and the officials. But, as he says “I’m proud to have been able to play with and against some of the best basketball players ever produced in Flint during my competitive years.”
Even though Gus was a great scorer, he was an unselfish player. He always gave his best and expected it from everyone of his players.(He coached many of the teams he played on).
Gus retired from basketball in 1947, and because of his health, now resides in Reno, Nevada.