Thursday, February 18, 2010

Big Day for McMurry Basketball in Thursday's Abilene Reporter News

Wednesday was a historical, monumental day for McMurry basketball and the athletics department as a whole with Ron Holmes stepping down after 20 seasons and Matt Garnett chosen as the successor. My press release was 1,500 words trying to harness the impact of the day, and I know I still couldn't do it justice. I went to buy an Abilene Reporter News paper this morning to see what the coverage was like of the event after watching the local television newscasts last night. The Holmes / Garnett story was at the top of the sports page with a good jump to page three and written by Sam Waller. Check Waller's article here.

But I also noticed two other articles in the sports section that also gave McMurry a lot of press. We honored Kit Kimbrell and Leon Rawlings, Jr. Saturday between the men's and women's games against Howard Payne. We invited the ARN sports editor, Greg Jaklewicz, to the dinner at Lytle Land & Cattle Saturday night to write a piece on the duo that has been calling McMurry basketball, football and baseball games for 15 seasons. We wanted to honor them for 15 years of service, but the ceremonies also included an announcement that Leon would be retiring following the conclusion of basketball season. Jaklewicz's article on Kit and Leon also appeared in the paper Thursday morning. Please check that article here. The picture above was during the women's game Saturday against Howard Payne. Note that not only will it be Holmes' last two games as head coach at Kimbrell Arena tonight and Saturday, but also, it will be Leon's last two games as well, and the last two times that Kit and Leon will call together.

If that wasn't enough, we've mentioned to you before about the "Thursday College Notebook" in the ARN written by former McMurry beat writer Marc David. He rotates between Hardin-Simmons, McMurry, Abilene Christian and Tarleton State to catch up with former athletes still working in the sports industry. You'll also remember that Jan. 30, Holmes held a reunion for three of his squads spanning from 1998-2001 and 14 members of those three teams returned to be recognized. Thursday, to lead off the College Notebook, David caught up with Daniel Martinez who still holds career school and ASC records for assists and steals. Check that article here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Kiwanis Club Shootout Photos

The McMurry vs. Hardin-Simmons basketball rivalry has been one of intensity for both the men's and the women's teams over the years. But as important as the basketball games are to each school, there's always a reminder for both programs every year that it's just a game. February 1 marked the 13th season that McMurry and HSU have teamed up with the Kiwanis Club of Abilene to bring awareness to the Hendrick Children's Miracle Network and the Meek Children's Hospital.

Please check out the photo gallery link below, and then see an excerpt from David Jones, the backbone behind the Kiwanis Club Shootout in an email he sent following the event to the participants.

Photo Gallery Link

Thank you, thank you, thank you...for making the 13th Annual - Kiwanis Club of Abilene - Basketball Shoot Out a big success. Attached are just a few of the photographs from the Shoot Out so you can see the fun we had.

With your help, this years Shoot Out raised $4,005.07 for children in need. This makes the total amount we have donated in the last 13 years to the Children's Miracle Network and Hendrick Children's Hospital ... $43,377.06.

The Change Bandits did a great job again this year in robbing people for a good cause. We really appreciate the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Boy Scout Troop #206, First Financial Bank and of course the women's and men's basketball teams from McMurry and Hardin-Simmons for their efforts. Thanks especially to First Financial Bank, who was not only our corporate sponsor, but the fine folks at the River Oaks Branch also counted all of the money in the "Bandit Bags" that were turned in, which is quite an undertaking.

The ceremonial ball toss and half-time Change Bandit donations went great. Thank you coaches, players and universities for making our Miracle Kids, Keegan Vowell and Ryan Courvelle, feel extra special. I'm not sure we have ever had anyone ham it up quite as much as Ryan did during the second half-time. He was having a great time.

Of course, we really appreciate Melinda Blay and Megan Clifton and all the folks at Children's Miracle Network who helped with a lot of the details of putting the Shoot Out on and making it a grand success this year.

-- David Jones, Shootout Chairman