In today’s edition of Banner Morning:
• Bob Knight returns to Assembly Hall
• Former players and fans react to Knight’s return
Welcome Hoosier fans to today’s edition of Banner Morning — your daily rundown of IU basketball news and notes.
I’m Cameron Drummond and Bob Knight has returned to Assembly Hall.
For the first time in nearly two decades, legendary former Indiana men’s basketball coach Bob Knight appeared publicly inside Assembly Hall.
The occasion was a gathering of former Indiana players, specifically the 1979-80 Indiana team that won the Big Ten Championship.
Behind the scenes, players from that team like Randy Wittman and Mike Woodson helped orchestrate Knight’s return to the arena he once towered over as a head coach.
“We came here because of him,” Wittman said about the impact Knight had on the lives of players. “It wasn’t because of the weather, and as I told coach, as much as the academics were a big part, it wasn’t because of the academics. We came here to play for coach.”
As such, those cherished Indiana basketball alums were introduced, one-by-one to the crowd during halftime of Saturday’s home game against Purdue.
The air was tinged with the expectation that Knight would make his long-awaited Assembly Hall return at this game, and sure enough, after the players were introduced and a special video package played on the videoboard, there was Knight, shuffling onto the court in front of more than 17,000 fans.
“The inclusion of Coach Knight meant a lot to those guys,” current Indiana coach Archie Miller said postgame. “Hopefully, that makes some things go in a different direction moving forward, continuing to tie things together.”
The reverberations from Knight’s return home were felt across the state.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and ESPN personality Sage Steele were among the IU alumni in attendance for the occasion and also voiced their sentiments toward Knight on Twitter, and messages also came through on social media from the likes of Calbert Cheaney and Indiana University itself.
Later on Saturday, both Knight and former Purdue coach Gene Keady, who was also in Bloomington for the IU – Purdue game, were honored by the Indiana Pacers during halftime on Hickory Night, celebrating basketball in the state on Basketball Day Indiana.
“I think that’s special,” Indiana Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said. “Great coaches at that college rank, and that’s history, man. That’s big time to have those guys come back.”
For the links mentioned in this edition of Banner Morning, visit assemblycall.com.
Remember to use the URL iutickets.shop to visit SeatGeek for the best prices on IU basketball tickets. That’s iutickets.shop, promo code ASSEMBLY, for $10 off your first purchase.
We’ll be back tomorrow with a new edition of Banner Morning. Until then, keep your elbows in, your eyes on the rim, and go Hoosiers.