Les Kreis drove a truck in the oil fields of the Texas Panhandle in the 1950s. His family lived in Skellytown but decided to move to 20 miles to Pampa for better athletic opportunities for his only son, Wayne. It turned out to be a beneficial move. Kreis was an outstanding two-sport athlete as a shortstop in baseball and as a guard in basketball.
He was a two-year starter for the Harvesters on the 1962 and 1963 basketball teams. There must have been something in the water in Pampa. Starting along with Kreis on the 1963 team were Randy Matson, Olympic gold medalist and world record holder in the shot put, and Ken Hebert, All-America wide receiver at the University of Houston. Kreis averaged a team-high 19.9 points a game, leading the Harvesters to a 29-1 record.
He signed to play basketball with TCU, and would be a fixture for the Horned Frogs for the three years. As a 5-foot-10 guard, Kreis averaged in double figures every year – 14.7, 15.7, and 13.8 points per game – from 1965 through 1967.
As a junior, he was named first-team All-Southwest Conference by the Dallas Morning News and TCU’s MVP. He finished with 1,002 career points over 68 games and is fifth all-time in free-throw accuracy at 81.2 percent.
Kreis earned a business administration degree at TCU, and in 1971, graduated from the University of Texas Law School. After a few years of law practice, he pivoted to a lifetime in the oil and gas business where he was an innovator and entrepreneur in oilfield technology.
Kreis died on May 4, 2019 at age 74 in Fort Worth.