MEMORIES OF THE INTER-STAKE CENTER
1955 to 2013
Note: Most of this information was assembled by
Duane and Karen LeSueur.
Many thanks to them for their dedication to this assignment.
The primary goal or dream of the Ellsworth brothers, and
many other church leaders was to provide a place for church
sports activities. What happened went even beyond their
dreams. When completed in 1955, it was the best facility for
basketball in the state of Arizona, and one of the best in
the USA. All young men and women who liked to play now had a
place to play that was beyond anything they had imagined.
All youth, and young men who liked to play basketball and
compete in the all-church tournament loved to play on the
main court. This was the ultimate experience for a
basketball lover. It had glass backboards, a new thing that
had just started. Very few facilities had this. It was
beyond all our dreams.
Several years after the building was finished, I was
watching Mesa 10th and Mesa 6th Wards competed to see who
would represent Arizona in the senior all-church tournament.
Watching Bobby Oates and Whizzer White compete was a memory
most will never forget. In 1957, one moment never to be
forgotten was to see George Hale of the Mesa 10th throw the
basketball the length of the main court and make the basket.
The junior tournaments were also very competitive and fun
and each year the winner would go to compete in the
During the past 58 years, fathers, sons and grandsons have
competed in sports, as well as mothers, daughters, and
granddaughters. This includes basketball, volleyball, and
However, the real story even goes beyond sports. Many things
that happened there were not even thought about in the
beginning. Probably stake conferences were planned
originally but on a smaller scale than eventually happened.
Other activities such as dances, dance festivals, dorms for
housing the temple excursions from Mexico and South America,
humanitarian activities, costumes for the Easter Pageant,
were a bonus that came without definite plans in the
Some other activities that have been an added benefit are:
Community activities, such as schools using the facilities
for their sports program
Phoenix Suns and Harlem Globetrotters playing there
Stake offices located there for many years
Family History work such as extraction
Road Shows and plays
Church auxiliary activities
Single adult and young single adult activities
Because of the vision of church leaders in the 1950ís, those
growing up or living in Arizona during the past 53 years
have had their lives blessed as. Special thanks to all those
who contributed to this success story.
May we now move forward with this remodeled and
improved facility and keep this legacy going for another 50
years. This is how we can show our appreciation to the
previous generations who have made this all possible.