IU Hosts First Annual Basketball Tip-Off Event
Nov. 8, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. The Indiana men's basketball hosted the first annual Indiana Basketball Tip-Off Event on Wednesday, Nov. 8, in Assembly Hall. Director of Athletics Rick Greenspan, Head Coach Kelvin Sampson and several current and former IU basketball standouts addressed the crowd of more than 900 people.
Sampson sees the event as the perfect avenue to unite IU basketball's past and its future.
"You appreciate the former players coming, but tonight is about this team," Sampson said. "The stars at Indiana right now are D.J. White, and Rod Wilmont, Ben Allen, Lance Stemler. I want people to get excited about this basketball team as we move forward. I think that we have to constantly honor the past. If not for those guys, guys like me don't get this opportunity.
Greenspan expressed similar feelings, showing his excitement about the current state of Hoosier Nation.
"This basketball program is blazing trails as Coach Sampson and his staff are recruiting some of the country's best student-athletes," he said. "I look at the banners over here, as I do every day, and we're going to hang another one up there. While it is a great honor to recognize the many players who have blazed the trail, we're going to look to the future as well. We can make this a wonderful place to support our team but a difficult place to play for our opponents."
Of the more than 40 former players who attended the event, four - Hallie Bryant, Greg Graham, Brian Sloan and Kyle Hornsby - were asked to address the crowd. All four expressed their excitement about the current team, and also stressed the importance of the history of IU basketball.
"It's great to be here to see so many old friends and teammates at this great event," Sloan said. "I'm really excited about this night and about a new dawn of IU basketball. You guys will find that these years will be grueling and demanding, but when you raise that banner to the ceiling, you'll realize that there's no better place to play basketball than Indiana University. Forever you will be an IU basketball player and you will always be part of the IU family."
"What we're here for tonight is to welcome a new group to Indiana basketball," Graham said. "There's a buzz going around, and I love when I hear people talking about IU basketball. Coach Sampson, I wish you and your team a lot of success."
"It's been a blessing to be here for three years at Indiana University," White said. "We're going to try to give all we can back by playing hard and giving what it takes to win."
Indiana Basketball fans have the opportunity to purchase tickets to four Hoosier games during the month of December. In addition to the Dec. 22 IUPUI game at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, tickets remain for three Assembly Hall contests - Dec. 17 Southern Illinois, Dec. 20 Western Michigan and Dec. 30 Ball State. All four games tip off at 8 p.m.
Main level tickets for each of the three Assembly Hall games are $28 and balcony seats are $21 each. The Mini-Series package, featuring all three Assembly Hall games, is available for $84 (lower level) or $63 (balcony). Tickets for the IUPUI game are $32 each. For more information, or to order tickets, please contact the IU Athletic Ticket Office at 1-866-IU-SPORTS.
Check back soon