June 11, 2003
TUCSON, Ariz. - When one of the nation's premier men's basketball programs prepares to celebrate its 100th birthday, a single event just won't do. That is why the University of Arizona is planning a season-long celebration to commemorate the centennial season of Wildcat basketball.
Beginning in August, the department will begin celebrating the Arizona Basketball Centennial, presented by Wells Fargo. Major events already scheduled for the 2003-04 season include the Lute Olson All-Star Classic, an alumni reunion and an All-Century team, which will be selected in part by fan balloting.
"University of Arizona alumni and fans alike take a great deal of pride in Arizona athletics and the men's basketball program," said Jim Livengood, Arizona director of athletics. The Arizona Basketball Centennial Celebration gives everyone a chance to share in the history and achievements of our program and actually participate in the 100th season of Arizona basketball."
The celebration tips off with the Lute Olson All-Star Classic, presented by Lexus of Tucson, August 22-24, which features three special events over the course of the weekend. The fun begins Friday, Aug. 22, with the Lute Olson Celebrity Roast and Dinner, presented by ALLTEL, at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort. The event features a host of college basketball royalty, including Billy Packer, Jud Heathcote, Sean Elliott and Bill Frieder, each ready to lampoon UA's Hall of Fame head basketball coach.
Former Wildcat All-American Steve Kerr hosts the annual Bank of Tucson Wildcat Dream Invitational golf outing on Saturday, Aug. 23, at Arizona National Golf Club. Participants will spend a day on the golf course with the Wildcat basketball family with proceeds to benefit the Wildcat Dream Foundation.
The weekend concludes Sunday, Aug. 24, with the Lute Olson All-Star Classic. The alumni basketball game at McKale Center will include many of the great names to wear an Arizona uniform, including a number of current NBA standouts. 2002-03 UA men's basketball season ticket holders will receive first priority to purchase their current seat locations only by July 18. Applications for the weekend's events will be mailed to men's basketball season ticket holders the week of June 16. Tickets for this event will go on sale to the general public on July 28.
The following Wildcat alumni, who were drafted by the NBA during the Lute Olson era, have been invited to participate in the Lute Olson All-Star Classic: Gilbert Arenas, Mike Bibby, Joseph Blair, A.J. Bramlett, Jud Buechler, Anthony Cook, Ben Davis, Michael Dickerson, Sean Elliott, Reggie Geary, Richard Jefferson, Steve Kerr, Chris Mills, Khalid Reeves, Sean Rooks, Miles Simon, Eddie Smith, Damon Stoudamire, Jason Terry, Tom Tolbert, Pete Williams, Michael Wright and Loren Woods. The Lute Olson All-Star Classic is a production of Enterprise Communications, Ltd.
The University of Arizona men's basketball reunion is scheduled for Jan. 10, 2004. In addition to the 50- (1954), 40- (1964), and 25-year (1979) teams that are usually recognized, all former Wildcat lettermen will be welcomed back to campus as part of the centennial celebration when the Cats host Stanford in a key Pac-10 Conference match-up.
In addition to the above-mentioned events, the department of athletics is also producing a number of "Centennial Moments," which will highlight many of the memorable moments and outstanding student-athletes throughout the last 100 seasons. Arizona fans will be able to enjoy these Centennial Moments on KVOA TV-4 in Tucson, and the video screens at Arizona home games in 2003-04.
A long-time supporter of Arizona athletics, presenting sponsor Wells Fargo has served customers in Arizona and throughout the west for more than 150 years. "Wells Fargo is a proud corporate sponsor of University of Arizona Athletics," said Patrick Yalung, Wells Fargo Regional President. "We are pleased to continue our relationship by supporting the Arizona Basketball Centennial, to pay tribute to a program that has enhanced our community for the past 100 years."