Topic

basketball

42 petitions

Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Athletic Director, Dr. Ronald Crutcher

Retire UR Men's Basketball Pioneer Aron Stewart's No. 30

When Aron Stewart first put on his No. 30 uniform for the University of Richmond’s Men’s Basketball team during the 1972-73 season, he was only the second African-American to attend UR on a basketball scholarship in the program’s 60-year history. A junior transfer from Temple University, Stewart played basketball for two years at Essex County College in New Jersey, where he led all junior college players in the country in scoring with a 36.6 average. Aron Stewart had a stellar career at UR. He averaged 30.2 points as a junior in 1972-73 and was named Southern Conference Player of the Year. In 1973-74 he led the Spiders to a 16-12 record, their first winning season since 1957-58. They finished second in the Southern Conference for the first time since 1945.  His career averages of 28.1 points per game and 12.0 rebounds per game are still school records. “Aron Stewart Day” was held at the Robins Center on February 23, 1974 at the UR vs. William & Mary game. During the special ceremony, a mayoral proclamation was made, making it “Aron Stewart Day” in the City of Richmond. Additionally, a letter was read from the Governor’s office. The president of the university, Bruce Heilman, presented Aron Stewart with an impressive trophy. Lastly, the legendary Malcolm “Mac” Pitt, who coached the Spiders from 1933-1952, addressed the crowd and “eloquently told one and all that No. 30 would never be worn by another Spider basketball player.” (Richmond Times Dispatch, February 24, 1974) Aron Stewart was inducted into the University of Richmond Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010, an inexplicable 36 years after breaking records at UR. The university’s website summarizes Stewart’s accomplishments as follows: In just two seasons, Aron Stewart etched his name in the men's basketball record book by averaging 28.1 points per game, tops in school history. His 30.2 ppg in 1972-73 is second- best in school history, and his 26.5 ppg in 1973-74 is the third-best mark. He totaled 1,237 points in only 44 career games, 19th on UR's all-time list. Stewart was named to the Citizen Helms Foundation All-America Team and the All- Southern Conference First Team in 1973 and 1974. He was Southern Conference Player of the Year in 1973 and earned Southern Conference All-Tournament Team honors in 1974. His greatest single-game scoring performance came against Appalachian State in 1973 when he poured in 42 points, the fifth-most by a Spider in a single game. Stewart owns four of the top 10 single-game field goals made records and his 663 points in 1973-74 is the fourth-highest single-season total at Richmond. He grabbed 12 rebounds per game in 1973-74, the Spiders' fifth-highest season average. In 2015 Aron Stewart made the Richmond Times Dispatch’s all-time starting five for UR Men’s Basketball. While Aron Stewart Day had all the makings of an official number retirement ceremony, including a proclamation by the university’s living legend that the number would never be worn again, an athletics department representative, Barry Barnum, stated in a 1999 interview with The Richmond Voice that “to his knowledge, the number has not been formally retired.” Unfortunately, the number 30 has been worn twice since Stewart left the university. It is long overdue for Aron Stewart’s number to be officially retired, and for his jersey to be raised in the rafters alongside fellow Spider great Johnny Newman, whose future at UR was paved by pioneers like Aron Stewart.

Joe LaVerda
115 supporters
Started 3 months ago

Petition to Glen Taylor, Tom Thibodeau, The City of Minneapolis, Target, The Minnesota Timberwolves

Raise a banner in the Target Center rafters for the late Flip Saunders

Philip Daniel "Flip" Saunders was born on February 23, 1955 in Cleveland, Ohio. After a stellar basketball career for Cuyahoga Heights High School, Flip chose to attend and play basketball for the University of Minnesota. He then went on to coach basketball for various colleges and semi-professional teams, but soon returned to Minnesota to coach for the Timberwolves. On May 11, 1995 the Minnesota Timberwolves hired Flip as their new General Manager and eventual head coach of the team. Along with Kevin Garnett, Flip led Minnesota to their greatest years as a franchise including their first and only Western Conference Finals appearance in 2004. Flip departed from the team in 2005 due to the franchise starting to struggle, but after stops in Detroit and Washington he soon returned to Minnesota in 2014 to help the franchise return to their former glory. Flip made countless moves to better the team, most notably bringing in young players Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns and bringing back franchise legend Kevin Garnett. Unfortunately, on August 11, 2015 Flip Saunders announced he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He started undergoing treatment and planned to remain the head coach and president of the team, but complications hospitalized him that September. Flip Saunders passed away on October 25, 2015 at the age of 60. Flip's death not only impacted the Timberwolves family, but everyone around the league. Upon hearing the news of Flip's passing I burst into tears, and I know I am not the only one. I remember crying as I read through both the Reddit thread and my Twitter feed following the announcement of his passing. But most notably, I remember this photo from that horrid day. At their first home game that season, a mere 3 days later, the team gave a heartfelt tribute to their late legend. You can watch that here and here. They also played through the season with patches on their jerseys. These are very nice gestures, but as a die-hard Timberwolves fan I do not think this is enough to remember Flip's importance to the franchise. This is why I am proposing adding a banner to the Target Center rafters. Currently, the only person honored (apart from the Minneapolis Lakers hall of fame members) is the late Malik Sealy, who tragically died in a car crash during his playing career. This season, the Timberwolves hopefully will add Kevin Garnett, the franchise's leader in just about every category ever, to those rafters. I also hope to see Flip Saunder's Golden Gophers #14 hanging up in the rafters, or at least some sort of banner dedicated to Flip. Without Flip, the Timberwolves would have nothing. Our only playoff appearances and winning seasons were under Flip's management. Both of our franchise players Kevin Garnett and Karl-Anthony Towns were brought in by Flip. All of our successes have been because of Flip and all of our future successes will be direct results of Flip's hard work. Please, Glen Taylor, Tom Thibodeau, Crunch the Wolf, the Timberwolves Organization, the City of Minneapolis, and whoever else this may be sent to... I beg of you to honor this Timberwolves legend in the best way possible. Flip deserves something eternal. Flip deserves to be remembered by Wolves fans forever.  Credit goes to tiddlycove on Reddit for the picture.

Tyler Zastrow
591 supporters