To celebrate the Men’s basketball team’s appearance tonight in the NCAA tournament against Duke, I asked some of my LTS colleagues to share their favorite Lehigh basketball memories. To start: I was lucky enough to attend Lehigh during the Queenan/Polaha years, so I saw plenty of P’s and Q’s being hung on the railings in Stabler. My favorite memory was from my sophomore year when my friends and I took the bus down to Towson to watch Lehigh win the East Coast Conference. It was so exciting to watch Lehigh get into the NCAA tournament for only the second time ever. I still remember my (now) husband and his friends shouting at the ref and casting aspersions on how the poor man treated his wife. All of which I am sure were untrue. A less pleasant memory from that year was when Dick Vitale said that he’d drive the bus back to Bethlehem if Lehigh upset Temple. To this day, I don’t like that guy. At any rate, good luck to the basketball team. Go Lehigh!
Tim McGeary ’99:
My favorite memory is becoming good friends with Jared Hess (1978-2008), team captain, 1130-point scorer, and ultimate example of what’s great about Lehigh scholar-athletes. Jared was featured in John Feinstein’s book “The Last Amateurs”, and accomplishment as much off the court as he did on the court. Jared volunteered to be on the search committee that brought in Billy Taylor and Brett Reed to the Lehigh coaching staff.
Jared conducted himself above reproach and with optimism, even in the face of adversity, injury, and ultimately leukemia. Jared’s crowning moment on the court came in the 1999 Patriot League Tournament when he led Lehigh, who had gone winless in the league that season, to an upset victory against the #2-seeded Navy. But his attitude and spirit is what made him a true winner.
I became acquainted with the Lehigh Men’s and Women’s Basketball programs when my kids attended the basketball camps a couple of years ago. To me, the basketball programs at Lehigh represent the very best of what Lehigh University is all about – excellence, quality instruction, mentoring, and a family atmosphere. My children were coached by many of their favorite players, they were welcomed into the rotation of ball boy/ball girl at home games, and some of the coaches and players still greet my kids when they see them at Stabler.
Our favorite memories include when the Men, led by Seniors Zahir Carrington, Prentice Small and Michael Ojo won the Patriot League Championship on our home court in 2010 and the Women, led by Erika Prosser and Alex Ross, won the Women’s Patriot League Championship the same year. Also, this year, we were in attendance when Junior CJ McCullum – a projected NBA prospect – collected his 2000th point. We’ve been privileged to witness him score many of these in person.