Nov. 5, 2007
Bloomington, Indiana -
For the second straight year, the Indiana University Varsity Club hosted the Men's Basketball Tip-Off Banquet and once again the crowd of more than 1,100 fans enjoyed a very personal evening with members of the current program.
"You have done a lot for our kids just by being here," said IU Coach Kelvin Sampson. "You love this program and that is what we are all about."
Host Don Fischer, who enters his 35th year behind the mike calling Hoosier broadcasts, introduced more than 40 former players in the audience.
Three of the former players, John Laskowski (1973-75), Wayne Radford (1974-78) and current assistant coach Dan Dakich (1981-85) shared their memories, often at the expense of each other, their former teammates,and for Dakich, Michael Jordan. They also encouraged the current members of the team and reminded them of the tradition they carry with them each time they put on the IU uniform.
The players were introduced and team captain D.J. White thanked the fans and former players for their unwavering support.
Coach Sampson talked about the upcoming season and his excitement about the team was evident.
"I really like this team," added Sampson. Your best players are high character guys and I like their leadership.
The Hoosiers will host UNC Pembroke on Saturday at 8 p.m., before opening the regular season on Monday night at 7 p.m. against Chattanooga in Assembly Hall.
"Lots of great memories are going to be formed here for you (addressing the players). This is a great opportunity for you. The basketball program as it is right now is going to do special things."
"My experience at IU was wonderful. You will look back and realize you will get to play in front of the best fans in college basketball. To the players, please remember, get your education."
"It is great to be back at Indiana. The most fun for me is to be back with the coaches. Coach Sampson's style of toughness and accountability is what I think Indiana stands for."