PITTSBURG, Kan. — You’re not a Pittsburg State basketball fan if you haven’t watched a game at John Lance Arena in the Garfield Weede Building, the 50th anniversary of which was celebrated Saturday.
Members of the 1971-72 men’s basketball team, the first to ever play in Weede, reunited during the basketball doubleheader against Central Oklahoma. In Weede’s inaugural game, the 1971-72 squad defeated Missouri Southern by two points.
The team was honored in front of a crowd during halftime of the men’s game, complete with highlights from 50 years ago. Current College Heights boys’ basketball coach Eric Johnson was on the team, and was happy to reconnect with his former teammates.
Eric Johnson, member of 71-72 Pitt State team, “It’s great seeing them. Some of them, I see every once in a while. We had a reunion ten years ago. But some of them, I haven’t seen since college, so it’s great to have them back and listen to their stories and some of their memories. All of them thought they were good basketball players back then, and they find out, maybe they were, maybe they weren’t. You gotta remind them, maybe you weren’t as good as you thought you were.”
Among the team’s favorite memories of playing together was when they made the 1972 NAIA tournament.