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Alumni Return for Basketball

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Posted on February 22, 2010

Alumni Return for Basketball

Nearly 100 former basketball players and supporters of the program returned to campus Feb. 20 for the 11th annual Cal U Basketball Alumni Day.

The event culminated with a home varsity doubleheader against Edinboro.

The men's alumni game was followed by a reception and the announcement of the Basketball Alumnus and Alumna of the Year. Award winners were Roger Hotz '59 and Amanda Evans '07.

        Hotz, a retired guidance counselor, was inducted into Cal U's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996. He finished his playing career in 1959 as the school's career leading scorer and rebounder. His 1,750 points still ranks third on the all-time list, but his continued support of the program has been just as important, said 14th-year head coach Bill Brown.

        "Roger has been very loyal to our program. He's active every year with our golf tournament and a major contributor to the program, not just financially," said Brown, who initiated the alumni basketball event in 2000.  "Roger stays in touch and is a special part of our history. Guys like Roger keep the tradition going."

        Evans competed in volleyball and basketball at Cal U. She was a starter on the 2005 PSAC championship volleyball team and a member of the 2007-2008 NCAA Regional championship basketball team. She has a bacheor's degree in English and is pursuing a master's degree in sport management at Cal U.

        "Amanda was a great addition to our team. She had a super work ethic and was a quick learner," said women's basketball assistant coach Annie Malkowiak '94, ‘96, a 2000 Cal U Hall of Fame inductee who was the first-ever women's basketball alumna of the year. "She remains very loyal and supportive of our program even two years later. Amanda is still a big part of our success."

        Cal U first-year women's basketball coach Mark Swasey said: "This is a great tradition, and we always welcome and encourage our alumni to return to campus and our games."

        In the men's alumni game, the white jerseys defeated the black jerseys to win 104-90. Theron Calao earned Most Valuable Player honors after scoring 54 points.

        Though the men's team is uncharacteristically experiencing a difficult divisional season, Brown believes the alumni basketball event brings a positive touch.

        "I think it is even more special this year because all of our alumni have gone on and made their marks in the world but suffered ups and downs along the way," said Brown, Cal's winningest men's basketball coach with 288 career victories. "They can relate to our current young men and share their experiences. Our alumni can make our players realize that if this season is the toughest adversity they are going to have to deal with in life, then they are going to have a real smooth life."

Previous Alumnus of the Year winners:

2000    Dick Majernik '55

2001    Sebastian LoNigro '59

2002    Walt Sigut '64

2003    Mike Andresky '74, '92

2004    Moe Yeoman '84

2005    Dr. Tony Saludis (emeritus faculty)

2006    Dr. Tony "A.P." McGrew (emeritus faculty)

2007    Shea Fleenor '98 '08

2008    Jesse James McLean Jr. '83 '94

2009    Dr. Gary Kennedy '59

Previous Alumna of the Year winners:

2002    Annie Malkowiak '94, '96

2003    Brenda Glessner-Shaffer '83

2004    Janine Vertacnik '80; Fastbreak Club, Lori Yannacci-Garrett '82

2005    Annette Huhn

2006    Holly Householder '01

2007    Theresa Cypher '82

2008    Darlene Kelly

2009    Nancy Skobel '87