MILWAUKEE — Marquette University basketball fans have been treated to some very special moments over the school’s 100 years of basketball. The men responsible for those moments recently got together to reminisce.
A lot of the principles in Marquette’s basketball tradition made it back to town for the celebration of 100 years, and they brought a lot of what MU means to them with them.
“Catching up, seeing all the older players who were here before us, that paved the way for us — just to talk, swap stories. For them to be like, ‘hey, we’re following you. Good job in making Marquette proud.’ It’s a humbling honor and a great feeling,” said Wesley Matthews, 2006-2009.
“Marquette is where I grew up. From a shy kid in Racine, Wisconsin, the first kid to go to college in his family. He graduated 30 years after he left. I graduated with a Marquette degree in philosophy,” said Jim Chones, 1971-1972.
“I remember when I was working, Jerel McNeal, his high school coach said ‘Bo, you need to be looking at Maurice Acker.’ It’s good to see him. We’ve been close for years, and it was something that was meant to be,” said Bo Ellis, 1974-1977.
“The journey of building it up, the journey of going to the Final Four, the journey of building it up again, and going through all the different things that we deal with, I have nothing but great memories because even the tough days shaped us to get us to some great memories,” said Tom Crean, MU coach from 1999-2008.
“You know, in college, you are doing what you are told. The guys who played for Coach Crean, myself included, we can give it to him a little bit now. We’re all grown up, but it’s just so much fun to see so many players. There are so many memories and stories and that’s what makes it special,” said Travis Diener, 2001-2005.
“It has been awesome to come together to celebrate 100 years, to see the guys who played before me and keep an eye on the guys who played after me. It’s just special,” said Joe Chapman, 2002-2006.
“Whenever you get together in something like this, you use the old expressions that you used to use. Everybody’s the same. You tell the same stories. I saw Tony at check-in, Tony Miller, and the first thing we talked about was him standing up on the tables after the win in the Mecca against South Florida to go to New York. Those things, they never leave you,” said Mike Deane, MU coach from 1994-1999.
The school’s current coach, Steve Wojciechowski, did a lot of the legwork to get so many guys together for the reunion.