Years after they last set foot on the court in the Dedmon Center, it was a collection of former Highlander stars who got a chance to shine for the fans of Radford University once again, as the 2012 Radford Basketball Alumni games were held in the Dedmon Center.
Past stars like Stephanie Howard (class of 1989), Kaylyn Crosier (class of 2009), Denay Wood (class of 2010), Chris “Hawk” Hawkins (class of 1992), and Brandon Jeffers (class of 2006), graced the court to put their skills on display for Highlander fans once more.
Howard, the RU Women’s Basketball all-time leading scorer with 2,146 points from 1985-1989, looked just as sharp as she did 22 years ago when she last stepped on the court in a Highlander uniform. Howard, a four time All-American, again donned her number 10 jersey during Homecoming weekend, the same number she wore while playing as a Highlander.
On a breakaway, Jeffers showed that he could still “throw it down” when he drove to the basket for a dunk. And Hawkins, now an assistant coach for RU Men’s Basketball, showed that he’s still got the moves to take on some of his much younger fellow alumni.
As for the games themselves, the RU Women’s Alumnae game tipped off at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 24. Although it was technically an exhibition game, the alumnae took to the floor with energy, showing that they still had the drive to win. At the end of two 20-minute periods, the red and white teams were stuck at a 54-54 tie. Due to time constraints, there was no overtime period and the two teams walked off the court shaking hands.
“It felt good to be out there,” Howard said. “I can’t get up and down the floor like I used to 22 years ago, but it’s fun to get out there and run up and down the court again. It felt great to see former players, and even some past teammates of mine.”
At 7:30, it was the men’s chance to show up their female counterparts with a performance of their own. Although the two teams were tied at halftime, the red team, which included Hawkins and Correy Watkins (class of 2002), eventually prevailed by a score of 81-66. Even though most of the men who played in the alumni game hadn’t played at the Division I level in several years, they still looked as fresh as ever as they fought hard to press each other, and ultimately to entertain a crowd that was full of former alumni and current students alike.
“It was great just to play with everybody, and to see everybody,” Jeffers said. “The first half, we were still feeling each other out, and we just went from there. At the same time, the second half was really competitive, so it made the game really interesting.”
The 2012 Homecoming Weekend might be over, but the Highlander alumni will take to the court in 2013 to show off their skills once more.