Where Are They Now?
Xavier basketball is more popular now than ever, but the program has always attracted a litany of talented and touted players. Some have gone on to the professional ranks; others have simply gone on. As this year’s season gets underway, we tracked down some former players to find out what they’ve been doing in the years since they left campus. Here we check in with Jerry Helmers. You can find links to other profiles at the bottom of the page.
JERRY HELMERS '72
For three years, Xavier players knew the drill: Get the ball to Jerry Helmers. The quiet forward provided the Musketeers with a deft scoring touch. Nothing flashy, just a steady hand. By the end of his career, he accumulated a 17-points-per-game average and two most valuable player awards. His 1,275 career points still rank 22nd on the all-time scoring list—a remarkable feat considering freshmen weren’t allowed to play on the varsity in those days.
Today, it’s Helmers who knows the drill, so to speak. The native of Hamilton, Ohio, returned to his hometown and settled into life as a dentist. Nothing flashy, just a steady hand.
“It’s the only place I know,” he says. “People know me here, and it’s close to Cincinnati. I still see some of the players. Doug Alt is a patient. I get to drill on his teeth.”
Helmers followed the Musketeers to Atlanta last year for the NCAA Tournament and makes it to a couple of home games each year, but for the most part the family’s athletic legacy has been passed down—son Ben played basketball at Miami University and daughter Maggie swam at Indiana University—and golf balls have now replaced basketballs.
“Golf’s easier on the knees,” he says. “I played basketball in leagues for 10 years, but when I couldn’t get out of bed in the mornings, I knew it was time to give it up.”