Athletics honors All-Century basketball team

Athletics honors All-Century basketball team

By Tyler Dixon

Many former Saluki basketball stars and their families joined together Friday to honor members of the All-Century team: the best 25 players and four coaches in SIU history.

Of the 29 that made the prestigious team, 22 were at the ceremony or had representation. Some had relatives or others accept on their behalf.

The players and coaches were honored Friday at a banquet and also recognized Saturday at halftime during SIU’s home game against Missouri State University.

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One notable player on the team is Walt Frazier. Frazier played for the Salukis in 1965 and 1967. He helped lead SIU to the National Invitational Tournament Championship in 1967 and had a 13-year career in the NBA. Frazier was unable to attend the weekend festivities.

Another member of the 1967 NIT Championship team was Dick Garrett. Garrett is 20th in school history in points and is in the Saluki Hall of Fame.

Garrett said when the team would get in trouble during their run to the championship, they would give the ball to Frazier and let him makes things happen.

“The chance to play with Walt Frazier was quite a blessing for me,” Garrett said.

The all-time leading scorer was also named to the team. Charlie “Chico” Vaughn scored 2,088 points in his career as a Saluki. He averaged 24.5 points per game. Vaughn died in October 2013. His brother, Junior Vaughn, was on hand at the banquet to accept his brother’s plaque.

One former Saluki had to travel around the world to be honored. Marcus Timmons, who played for SIU from 1992 to 1995, traveled from Melbourne, Australia, where he still plays basketball. Timmons was the Missouri Valley

Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 1995 and helped lead the Salukis to three NCAA Tournament appearances.

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“Coming back to this is very special to me. Last time I missed out on the Hall of Fame because I was still playing basketball at that stage and now coming back is great,” Timmons said. “Get to see some guys I’ve never met and some of my old teammates.”

Carbondale native Troy Hudson was an 11-year NBA veteran and is third in 3-pointers at SIU.

“It’s definitely an honor … you think about only 25 players selected and some of the players that were selected went on to do great things in other careers as well as basketball careers,” Hudson said. “They were winners, so just to be in that company is a great honor.”

Darren Brooks was an All-MVC First-team performer all four seasons. He was the MVC Player of the Year as well as the MVC Defensive Player of the Year for the 2004-05 season. Brooks is fifth in points, fourth in assists and first in steals in Saluki basketball history.

Brooks said he had many emotions when he was called about being on the team.

“I was just shocked, excited at the same time,” Brooks said. “I just went out and played hard and let the chips fall.”

Kent Williams played with Brooks for two seasons from 2001-2003. Williams is second in SIU history in points with 2,012. He is also eighth in assists and second in

3-pointers with 249.

Williams said the honor means more to

him now that he is a coach. Williams is on the coaching staff at the University of Tennessee.

“It’s special, this is a great honor, get to come back for celebrating 100 years of basketball, for one, and being a part of such a great, rich tradition of names, guys that I grew up watching too, and get to be a part of them on this team that we’re on today is exciting,” Williams said.

One player who has not gone too far from the program is Greg Starrick. Starrick is the color analyst for SIU men’s basketball. He is also a member of the Saluki Hall of Fame and is first in free-throw percentage in SIU history.

Starrick said he wanted to thank the Carbondale area for all the support it has given him.

“When I look back on my career, the people of Southern Illinois have been very, very nice to me,” Starrick said. “I hope that they enjoyed watching me play and for my family, this is a very big honor.”

Other players that were on the team included: Wayne Abrams, Ashraf Amaya, Seymour Bryson, Chris Carr, Jermaine Dearman, Randal Falker, Mike Glenn, Shane Hawkins, Nate Hawthorne, Joe C. Meriweather, Steve Middleton, Tom Millikin, Bryan Mullins, Matt Shaw, Rick Shipley, Jamaal Tatum and Gary Wilson.

Four coaches were added to the All-Century Team as well.

Jack Hartman led the Salukis from 1963-70 and had a record of 142-64 at SIU. He coached the Salukis to the 1967 NIT Championship.

Rich Herrin was the MVC Coach of the Year

in 1990 and led the Salukis to three NCAA Tournament appearances in his career. Herrin was at the helm from 1986-98.

Current Kansas State University Head Coach Bruce Weber did a lot in his short time as Saluki head coach. He had a record of 103-54 and was the MVC Coach of the Year in 2003.

Chris Lowery did not make the list as a player but did as a coach. Lowery led the Salukis to three NCAA Tournament wins, which is the most in school history. He was a two-time MVC Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2007. Lowery is an assistant coach for Weber at Kansas State.

Tyler Dixon can be reached at [email protected] dailyegyptian.com , @tdixon_de on Twitter

or 536-3311 ext. 256.

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