Oct. 29, 2008
Bloomington, Indiana -
More than 800 were on hand for the third annual Varsity Club Men's Basketball Banquet held Tuesday, October 27 on the floor of Branch McCracken Court in Assembly Hall.
Long-time voice of the Hoosiers Don Fischer served as the emcee for the evening which featured a variety of speakers and video highlights. Fans were entertained by a video which showed testimonials from several former Hoosier legends including All-Americans Steve Green, Ted Kitchel, Isiah Thomas and D.J. White.
In addition, more than 40 former Indiana men's basketball players were in the audience and were introduced.
Here are some of the quotes from those who addressed the audience.
IU Athletic Director Rick Greenspan
"In Tom Crean, I know that we have the right guy for the job because he will
provide the right type of care, concern and patience that this program
"We weren't entitled to anything, we had to earn it. And I would hope that
the kids that are here right now representing the IU team this year
understand that you are going to earn it, but you are going to enjoy earning
it. This is a real opportunity for you guys to be a part of something that
will continue to grow."
"It's a great thrill to be back. I haven't been back in a few years but I
feel very welcome to be back here tonight. It's been great to see all the
fans, the wonderful coaching staff and all the other wonderful people here
at Indiana University."
"People often ask what was it like to make a decision (to play at IU), back
in the Chuckwagon days when I played here. And I tell them it was a
pretty easy decision to make. You are playing in the best basketball
facility, you are playing for the best basketball program in the country and
for the best fans in the country and you were playing for the best coach in
the country. So it was a very easy decision and now that we have the right
people in place, I think that once again this will be a great opportunity for
"The best thing I read about Tom Crean
when he came here, other than when he
said 'Because it's Indiana', which I thought that was pretty special, was that Tom graduated 26 out of 26 kids at Marquette. That's what I'm looking for in our next
head coach and I'm glad to have him here."
"With me being from Indianapolis, it has been a dream for me to come here
and play and I'm really excited about this tradition. I think I speak for
the whole team when I say we are really excited about the entire Hoosier
Nation and how much support they are going to give us because we are really
going to need you. I know they say it's going to be a tough time but we are
here to play hard for you."
"I know it's been a rough couple months for you to sit back and watch what's
been happening but I'll tell you that Coach Crean and his staff have done a
great job of getting this organization back on its feet. They have been
around the clock recruiting; around the clock in getting fans inspired who
may have lost their faith. And I know he's been doing a great job of
getting the team ready to play this year. I can tell you we are ready to go
and ready to win."
"We knew that we wanted everybody (former players) back and this really
couldn't move forward until we had everybody back. And there is a reason to
want them back, because it epitomizes class. You talk about integrity. You
talk about emotion. You talk about enthusiasm. Listening to Steve (Green)
and Ted (Kitchel), the fan in me comes out in that. And then I sit there
and think that I've been entrusted with this. That's a serious, serious
feeing but it's an even greater feeling to know that you have those kinds of
people behind this program and want to see the greatness in it again."