DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team will look for the sweep of the defending America East champions when it takes on the University of Maryland, Baltimore County on Tuesday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. at RAC Arena. The game can been seen live on Comcast SportsNet in the New England region or MASN in the Baltimore area, as well as on ESPN360.com, where available. The contest will also be broadcast live on FOX 1370 AM, with the link available at www.UNHWildcats.com. The Wildcats and Retrievers meet for the 13th time in their short conference rivarly. UNH leads the all-time series, 7-5, and has won six of the last 10 meetings. The ‘Cats have won four of the last five meetings at Lundholm Gymnasium. The Retrievers have won two straight at RAC Arena, but prior to that had not recorded a win versus the Wildcats on their home floor in the three previous matchups. In the most recent meeting Jan. 14, UNH knocked off the defending America East champions, 65-47, at Lundholm Gym.
Senior guard Tyrece Gibbs matched his career high with 22 points to lead the Wildcats to a 65-47 victory over UMBC – the defending America East champions – on Jan. 14 at Lundholm Gymnasium.
The Wildcats won for their third time in four games to improve to 6-8 on the season, including 2-1 in the America East. The Retrievers lost for the third time in four games to fall to 7-8 overall and 1-2 in the conference. UNH improved to 7-5 all-time against UMBC and won for the first time in the last three meetings between the two squads.
The ‘Cats, who last season knocked off defending champion Albany, 75-66, have now recorded a victory over the reigning conference champions in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 1992-93 and 1993-94 campaigns when they notched wins over Delaware.
The 22 points – a season high – marked the fifth time Gibbs has matched his career high since setting it Jan. 21, 2007 versus Stony Brook. Gibbs, UNH’s America East Player of the Game, also added six rebounds and two assists.
Leading 27-24 at the break, UNH started the second half on an 11-2 run – capped by a Gibbs 3-pointer – that opened up a 38-26 lead with 17:32 remaining. The Wildcats tacked on one point to their lead over the next 5:15 and led 47-34 when sophomore guard Tyrone Conley hit a 3-pointer to spark a 5-0 run that pushed UNH’s lead to 18. Conley finished with 14 points on 6 of 9 shooting and added five rebounds.
UMBC came back with a 5-0 run of its own before Conley closed out a 6-0 UNH run with a jumper that gave the Wildcats a 58-39 advantage with 4:07 to play. After Darryl Proctor converted an old fashioned three-point play, Gibbs and Proctor traded baskets to bring the score to 60-44 with 2:31 left. Another Conley jumper and a pair of free throws by sophomore guard Alvin Abreu gave UNH a 20-point lead – its largest of the game. Proctor finished another layup before each team added a free throw to close the scoring. Abreu tallied seven points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal in the contest.
Once again it was the defense that came up big down the stretch for the Wildcats. After a Proctor layup with 9:11 left in the second half, the ‘Cats held UMBC scoreless during a 6-0 run that spanned the next 5:54.
Freshman forward Brian Benson provided a surge of energy off the bench during UNH’s 11-2 to start the second half. Benson threw down a monstrous two-handed slam off a feed from sophomore forward Rony Tchatchoua at 18:22, and just moments later came up with a huge rejection of Proctor that kept the team feeding off the noisy Lundholm crowd’s liveliness. Tchatchoua chipped in with four points, four boards and a pair of blocks.
The start of the first half was a back-and-forth affair between both squads, with UNH taking
a 10-9 lead at 15:19 off Gibbs’ second trey of the game. Gibbs scored eight of the Wildcats’ first 10 points.
The teams traded baskets for much of the next five minutes until four straight points gave UMBC its largest lead of the game (19-14) midway through the half. The Wildcats responded, however, receiving seven straight points from Conley, including a 3-pointer that put the ‘Cats in the lead for good at 6:02, to spark an 11-0 run that gave UNH a 25-19 lead with 4:20 to play.
Jay Greene knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key to end the run and cut UNH’s lead down to 25-22 with 4:00 remaining. The two teams traded jumpers during the next four minutes and headed into the locker room with UNH on top, 27-24. The Wildcats are now 4-0 when leading at halftime.
Gibbs finished the game with 1,077 career points, leaving him just 11 points shy of passing Mike Christensen for 17th on UNH’s all-time scoring list. After playing 38 minutes, Gibbs also moved up the Wildcats’ all-time minutes played list and is now seventh with 3,132 minutes.
UNH shot its third highest percentage of the season from the floor to outshoot UMBC, 47 percent (25-53) to 41 percent (19-46). The Wildcats also won the battle on the boards, 39-23. Sophomore center Dane DiLiegro, the conference’s fourth
Proctor led the Retrievers with 16 points and nine boards. Greene, UMBC’s America East Player of the Game, added 11 points and seven assists.
LAST TIME OUT
Senior guard Tyrece Gibbs scored a game-high 20 points, but it was not enough to lift the Wildcats to their second straight win as they were defeated by Boston University, 67-49, Feb. 7 at Lundholm Gymnasium.
With the loss, the Wildcats fell to 9-13 on the season, including 4-6 in America East play, while the Terriers won their eighth straight and improved to 14-9 overall and 9-2 in the conference.
Gibbs was awarded UNH’s America East Player of the Game, shooting 7-for-16 from the floor, including 6 of 11 from beyond the arc en route to coming up just two points shy of his career high. His six 3-pointers were a season high that matched his career best. In addition to his impressive scoring, Gibbs also tallied four rebounds, three assists and a block
Gibbs finished with 1,189 career points, moving past Matt Acres (1,169), Jim Rich (1,180) and Greg Steele (1,187) for 10th place on UNH’s all-time scoring list. Gibbs’ block, the 51st of his career, moved him into a fourth-place tie with Joe Rainis on the program’s list.
The Wildcats opened up the game on a 9-2 run, starting with a Radar Onguetou jumper from just inside the arc. The Terriers would respond with a layup by Jake O’Brien just moments later, but it would be all UNH from that point as the Wildcats would go on to score seven unanswered points.
Sophomore center Dane DiLiegro began the scoring streak with a pretty up-and-under layup that was followed by a Gibbs baseline 3-pointer, which gave the Wildcats a 7-2 advantage at 17:15. Gibbs would keep the run going on the next possession when he delivered a pass to sophomore guard Alvin Abreu for a fastbreak layup to push the Wildcat lead to seven points.
The Terriers would respond to UNH’s offensive outburst with a 15-2 run of their own, putting the score at 17-11 after a John Holland 3-pointer from the right wing with 9:00 remaining in the opening half. With the scored knotted at 11 with 10:48 left, it was a Scott Brittain layup that gave BU the lead for good.
Despite the run, the Wildcats would come alive once again on a 3 from the left wing at 8:06 by sophomore guard Tyrone Conley. The Terriers would strike back as Jake O’Brien sank a 3-pointer to push the BU lead to 21-15 at 5:58. Junior guard Colbey Santos continued the back-and-forth barrage with a trey of his own. Matt Wolff ended the shootout with another triple that put the Terriers up 24-18 with just under five minutes to go.
Lowe sank his first 3 of the game to widen BU’s lead to nine with 3:38 to play, but Gibbs answered with his 198th career 3-pointer, which moved him past Tommy MacDonald (197) and into second place on UNH’s all-time 3-point field goals made list, and cut the Wildcats’ deficit to 27-21. Gibbs was not done either, draining his third trey of the half to get UNH within three with 1:48 on the clock.
The Terriers would close out the period by scoring the final six points, however, receiving a 3 from Marques Johnson before an old fashioned three-point play with 19 seconds on the clock by Lowe closed the scoring with BU on top 33-24 at the halfway point.
Onguetou finished with four points and nine boards, while DiLiegro also scored four points on 2 of 2 shooting and pulled down five rebounds in the contest. Abreu netted seven points to go along with five assists, a rebound and a block, and Conley chipped in with six points, a rebound, an assist and a pair of steals.
The Terriers opened the second half the same way they ended the first, scoring six straight points – capped by a Lowe jumper – to take a 39-24 lead at 17:46. Gibbs again answered the bell, knocking down his 200th career trey to get UNH on the board in the second frame. John Holland answered with a 3 of his own before a Gibbs layup made it 42-29 with 14:52 remaining.
Three-pointers by Lowe and Holland highlighted a 7-2 run that moved the score to 49-31 at 13:25. After a pair of free throws by freshman forward Brian Benson, a pass from Lowe set up a Jeff Pelage dunk that sparked a 13-3 run, which ended with the Terriers holding their largest lead of the game at 62-36 with 6:41 left.
An 8-0 Wildcat run, sparked by a pair of 3-pointers from Gibbs, brought UNH to within 18 at 62-44 with just under four minutes remaining. After the team’s traded baskets, an Abreu trifecta sliced the Wildcat deficit to 15 at 2:31. The Terriers would score the final three points, however, receiving a layup from Brittain at 2:02 before a free throw with 26 seconds on the clock closed the scoring.
Benson finished with three points, eight boards, an assist and a steal in 25 minutes.
Holland was named BU’s America East Player of the Game as he notched his first double-double of the season, scoring 16 points and pulling in 12 boards. Lowe led the Terriers in scoring with 19 points to go along with three rebounds and three assists. Brittain fell just shy of a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds, while O’Brien also reached double figures in scoring as he recorded 10 points and seven boards.
A LOT RIDING ON THIS ONE
Not only would a win against UMBC move the Wildcats up the America East standings, but it would also have historical implications for the program. The Wildcats, who have won two straight road games, have not been victorious in three conescutive games on the road since the 2005-06 season when they beat UMBC, Stony Brook and Albany, conesecutively. UNH already downed UMBC, 65-47, Jan. 14 at Lundholm Gymnasium and has not recorded two wins in a season against the defending conference champion since the 1982-83 season when it knocked off Northeastern in a pair of contests. Finally, a win would give the Wildcats 10 victories this season, surpassing their win total of last season. A double-digit win season would give the ‘Cats three 10-win seasons in four years under Bill Herrion. The last time UNH attained that feat was from 1982-83 to 1985-86 when the program put together three 10-win seasons in four years under legendary UNH head coach Gerry Friel.
MOVIN' ON UP
Tyrece Gibbs moved up a trio of all-time program lists against Boston University on Feb. 7. Gibbs scored a game-high 20 points to bring his career total to 1,189 points and move past Matt Acres (1,169), Jim Rich (1,180) and Greg Steele (1,187) for 10th place on UNH’s all-time scoring list. In the final minutes of the opening half, the co-captain sank his 198th career 3-pointer, which moved him past Tommy MacDonald (197) and into second place on UNH’s all-time 3-point field goals made list. Gibbs also recorded the 51st block of his career, moving him into a fourth-place tie with Joe Rainis on the program’s all-time list.
STAY FOR AWHILE
UNH Athletic Director Marty Scarano announced Feb. 5 that head coach Bill Herrion has been signed to a new five-year contract.
“We have great confidence in Bill Herrion and what he is accomplishing at UNH,” Scarano said. “Bill, his staff and the student-athletes are building a strong foundation for future success. We knew that this building process was a long-term proposition, and I see daily tangible evidence that our program is advancing. We are fortunate to have Bill leading this program. He knows what it takes and is dogged in his pursuit to make our program competitive.”
Herrion added, “I just want to thank UNH, particularly President Huddleston and Marty Scarano, for their support of our men’s basketball program. We have worked extremely hard to build this program, and with this commitment we will continue to pursue our goal of winning the America East championship.”
RANDOM "UNH RECORD WHEN..." TIDBITS
The Wildcats are 8-2 when holding their opponents to 60 points or less and are 5-1 when forcing their opponents to shoot under 40 percent from the floor. The tenacious defense pays off as the Wildcats are 6-0 when leading at halftime. The ‘Cats are tough to beat when their barrage of 3-point shooters are on, owning a 5-1 record when shooting over 40 percent from deep. The squad also must like playing in the middle of the week as they are 5-1 on Wednesdays.
UNH is ranked within the top 100 teams in the country in a pair of categories. The Wildcats are 50th in 3-point field goals per game (7.6) and 92nd in scoring defense (64.3 papg). Individually, Tyrece Gibbs is 38th in the nation in field goal percentage (39.4) and 82nd in 3-pointers per game (2.5).
TREY-MENDOUS STREAK FOR 'CATS
Heading into tonight’s contest UNH has recorded at least one 3-pointer in 515 consecutive games, a streak that spans 17 years. The last time the ‘Cats did not tally a trey was in a 59-47 loss to Dartmouth College on Jan. 8, 1991, when they were 0-for-3 from behind the arc. The NCAA record is currently 691 games by UNLV, a streak that started Nov. 26, 1986 and is still active.
HOLDING DOWN THE FORT
UNH has had a knack for holding down the opposing team’s leading scorer this season. In 19 games when the opposition has had its leading scorer play in the game, the Wildcats have held him under his season average 13 times, including 10 of the last 12.
Tyrece Gibbs scored a game-high 20 points versus Boston University on Feb. 7 to bring his career total to 1,189 points and move past Matt Acres (1,169), Jim Rich (1,180) and Greg Steele (1,187) for 10th place on UNH’s all-time scoring list. Next up for Gibbs: Keith Dickson, who sits in ninth with 1,202 points.
Tyrece Gibbs played in his 100th game as a Wildcat on Jan. 11 versus Boston University. The senior needs to play in five more games to become the all-time leader in program history.
Tyrece Gibbs has done it all during his time in a UNH jersey, filling the stat line night in and night out. The effort paid off as Gibbs is just the second Wildcat in history to amass at least 1,000 points, 400 rebounds, 200 assists, 80 steals and 45 blocks. With 1,189 points, 465 rebounds, 226 assists, 86 steals and 51 blocks, Gibbs joins Eric Montanari (92-95), who totaled 1,038 points, 418 rebounds, 217 assists, 93 steals and 47 blocks, on the exclusive list.
Tyrece Gibbs is penciling his name in all over UNH’s record books. Last season, Gibbs drained 83 3-pointers, which is the second most in a single UNH season and just four off the record. Gibbs also registered the third most 3-point attempts (204) in a season and played the third most minutes (1,038) in a season. The guard is currently second all-time on UNH’s 3-pointers made list (202), third in 3-point attempts (513), fourth in blocks (51), sixth in minutes played (3,400), seventh in 3-point field goal percentage (.394), seventh in games played (109) and ninth in field goals attempted (1,002). Gibbs, who became the 26th Wildcat to score 1,000 points in a career Dec. 13 at Long Island, is also close to moving into the top 10 in field goals made and assists.
DANE TRAIN: NOW BOARDING...AND SCORING
Dane DiLiegro, who is currently second in the conference in offensive rebounds per game (3.0) and fifth in rebounding overall (7.1 rpg), is averaging 5.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, better than his numbers of 4.5 points and 5.7 boards per contest at this point last season. After posting one double-digit scoring game and six double-digit rebounding games in 29 contests last year, the center has notched four double-digit scoring games and four double-digit rebounding games in just 22 tilts this season.
ON THE RADAR
Radar Onguetou is picking up his play as of late. The co-captain played his best game of the season at Hartford on Feb. 4, scoring a career-high 16 points to go along with nine boards and three assists. Onguetou’s previous career high came in the same building nearly two years to the day when he netted 15 at Hartford on Feb. 8, 2007. Onguetou also narrowly missed his second career double-double Jan. 31 against Vermont. Onguetou scored nine points and pulled down a season-high 10 boards against the Catamounts, en route to being named America East Player of the Game. It is the first Player of the Game award for Onguetou since he garnered the honor nearly two years ago in an America East quarterfinal game against Albany on March 3, 2007.
After being away from the team Dec. 6-Jan. 17, Eric Gilchrese played in his first game Jan. 28 at Stony Brook and looked like he had not missed a beat. Gilchrese led the ‘Cats to a 71-60 come-from-behind win with 22 points on 6 of 10 shooting, including 5 of 7 from behind the arc.
CAN YOU SPARE A BASKET?
When the Wildcats overcame a nine-point halftime deficit to defeat Stony Brook, 71-60, Jan. 28, it was again there defense that came up big. The ‘Cats held the Seawolves to just four field goals and 18 percent shooting (4-22) in the second half, including just one basket and 11 percent shooting (1-9) in the final 10 minutes of the game.
Trailing 34-25 against Stony Brook at the half Jan. 28, the Wildcats exploded out of the locker room, tying the game with a 13-4 run that was part of a larger 27-8 run, which led the ‘Cats to a 71-60 win. The Wildcats scored more points in the first 8:29 of the second half (26) than they did in the entire first half (25).
DOUBLE-DOUBLE FOR CAPTAIN GIBBS
Tyrece Gibbs recorded his second career double-double when he netted 10 points and matched his career high with 10 rebounds at Vermont on Jan. 25. Gibbs’ previous double-double came in an overtime contest against Harvard on Nov. 29, 2006 at Lundholm Gymnasium when he tallied the same 10 and 10.
D.J. REJECTED BY WILDCAT D
Binghamton’s D.J. Rivera, who came into the Jan. 22 matchup against UNH ranked 23rd in the country in scoring at 20.6 points per game, only managed to score six points versus the Wildcats. It was the first time in 19 games that Rivera had been held to single digits, with 11 being his previous season low in points.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE FOR DOUBLE D
Dane DiLiegro notched his third career double-double and second of the season at Maine on Jan. 19 when he matched his career high with 12 points and ripped down 12 boards. One game earlier, the sophomore tore down 13 rebounds at Dartmouth on Jan. 17. DiLiegro recorded 10 points and 11 rebounds against Hofstra on Dec. 27 for his first double-double of the season.
In his Jan. 18 “Bracketology” column on ESPN.com where he predicts the NCAA tournament bracket and updates it weeky, Joe Lunardi picked the Wildcats to win the America East and play the MEAC’s Florida A&M in the opening-round game. If the Wildcats were to win that game, Lunardi has them advancing to play No. 1 Pitt, where head coach Bill Herrion’s brother, Tom, is the associate head coach.
NON-CONFERENCE SLATE SUCCESS
After beating Dartmouth, 68-59, Jan. 17 to close out their non-conference slate at 5-7, the Wildcats finish with their best non-conference record since the 2003-04 season when they had an identical 5-7 record.
After their 65-47 win against UMBC at Lundholm Gymnasium on Jan. 14, the Wildcats improved to 5-2 at home this season, marking the best home start for UNH since it began the 1997-98 season 6-1 in Durham.
With their 65-47 victory against UMBC on Jan. 14, the Wildcats are now 2-1 in America East play for the first time since the 1994-95 season when they recorded two wins against Hofstra before losing to Delaware. The last time the ‘Cats started a conference slate 3-1 was during the 1991-92 campaign.
WILDCATS KEEP ON DEFENDING
When UNH defeated UMBC, 65-47, Jan. 14, it was once again the defense that came up big down the stretch for the Wildcats. After a Darryl Proctor layup with 9:11 left in the second half, the ‘Cats held UMBC scoreless during a 6-0 run that spanned the next 5:54. UNH, which has the second best scoring defense in the conference and 93rd best in the country at 62.6 papg, is 5-1 when holding its opponents to 60 points or less and 1-7 when allowing 61 or more.
KNOCKING OUT THE CHAMP
After beating UMBC, 65-47, Jan. 14, the Wildcats, who last season knocked off defending champion Albany, 75-66, have now recorded a victory over the reigning conference champions in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 1992-93 and 1993-94 campaigns when they notched wins over Delaware.
BENSON HELPS PUT BOUNCE IN WILDCATS' STEP
Brian Benson provided a surge of energy off the bench during UNH’s 11-2 to start the second half in its 65-47 win versus UMBC on Jan. 14. Benson threw down a monstrous two-handed slam off a feed from sophomore forward Rony Tchatchoua at 18:22, and just moments later came up with a huge rejection of Darryl Proctor that kept the team feeding off the noisy Lundholm crowd’s liveliness.
ESPN'S KATZ WEIGHS IN ON 'CATS
In his blog on ESPN.com, Andy Katz had this to say about the Wildcats and their fourth-year leader: “Bill Herrion may have finally hit a consistent stride in his rebuilding job at New Hampshire. Like Harvard, UNH took out Santa Clara at home by four and then opened up America East play by beating Hartford at home. A trip to Boston University is next for the Wildcats. A win there for UNH might be a significant turning point for Herrion.“
DILIEGRO LEADS WINDEXING WILDCATS
Dane DiLiegro tore down a career-high 17 rebounds, including 10 in the first half, in UNH’s 55-47 win against Hartford on Jan. 7. DiLiegro, who tallied more offensive rebounds (8) than Hartford’s entire team (5), led the Wildcats to a 44-29 rebound advantage. The 17 boards are also a season-high in America East this season, beating out Stony Brook’s Tommy Brenton, who had 15 against Maryland Eastern Shore on Nov. 14. The rebound total is the most anyone in the conference has recorded since Vermont’s Marqus Blakely had 29 at UNC-Wilmington on Feb. 23, 2008, and most in a conference game since Blakely had 20 against Hartford on Feb. 20, 2008.
WILDCAT DEFENSE CONTINUING TO IMPROVE
UNH’s defense continues to get better each game and that did not change against Hartford on Jan. 7. Trailing 17-15 with 5:45 to play in the first half, the Wildcats were sparked by a Tyrece Gibbs 3-pointer from the left wing that put them back out in front, 18-17, and sent them on an 8-2 run that would give the ‘Cats a 23-19 lead at the half. UNH carried over its momentum from the first half as it opened the second frame with an 8-0 run that made the score 31-19 at 15:14. Hartford did not record its first point of the second half until a Michael Turner free throw at 13:42 and had its first bucket of the second stanza come on a Jaret von Rosenberg layup at 11:57. Going back into the first half, the Wildcats held the Hawks scoreless for 9:11, and without a field goal for 10:53.
HOME, SWEET HOME AGAINST HARTFORD
After its 55-47 win against Hartford at Lundholm Gym on Jan. 7, the Wildcats have now won five straight at home against the Hawks, dating back to the 2004-05 season.
OPENING UP RIGHT
UNH’s 55-47 win versus Hartford in its conference opener Jan. 7, paired with its 75-66 win at home against Albany in last season’s conference opener, gives the Wildcats victories in league openers in back-to-back years for the first time since the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons.
ABREU NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Alvin Abreu had a career day on the offensive end of the floor Jan. 4 against Santa Clara. Abreu propelled the Wildcats to a 58-54 victory on their home court with a career-high 28 points on 8 of 14 shooting. The sophomore guard also knocked down a career-best seven 3-pointers and was perfect from deep on the day, setting a school record for most treys in a game without a miss. Abreu also netted his 500th career point and finished the day with 513. For his efforts, Abreu was named America East Co-Player of the Week the following day. The award is the first for Abreu, who was a three-time America East Rookie of the Week last season, as well as an All-Rookie Team member.
WEST COAST PARTY
UNH’s win against Santa Clara – arguably its biggest non-conference victory in nearly 15 years – was the program’s first ever against a West Coast Conference team. The Wildcats had previously lost to St. Mary’s (Dec. 22, 1988) and Gonzaga (Dec. 27, 1993).
CATS' D BUCKS BRONCOS' BRYANT
In their 58-54 win against Santa Clara on Jan. 4, the Wildcats shut down Bronco big man John Bryant. Bryant, who has received numerous looks from NBA scouts this season, came into the game averaging 18.7 points and 12.6 rebounds per contest, while owning 10 double-doubles, including a pair of 20-20 games. The Wildcats’ post defense, led by center Dane DiLiegro, held the senior to just seven points – his lowest total of the year – and eight rebounds.
Tyrece Gibbs became the 26th Wildcat in program history to score 1,000 points in a career when he knocked down a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left in the game against Long Island on Dec. 13. This marks the third straight season the Wildcats have seen one of their players reach the 1,000-point plateau. Blagoj Janev, who is currently fourth on UNH’s all-time scoring list with 1,340 points, recorded his 1,000th during the 2006-07 season, while Mike Christensen, 17th with 1,087 points, tallied his 1,000th last season.
UNH held the lead against Penn State for the greatest length of time of any of the Nittany Lions’ first four opponents of the season. The Wildcats led for 12:25 in their game with PSU, which won all four games. UNH’s America East-foe Hartford held the advantage for just 1:18, NJIT led for 26 seconds and William & Mary never led in their contest.
BENSON'S FAMOUS TEAMMATE
Brian Benson was on the court as a sophomore at Greece-Athena High School when team manager Jason “J-Mac” McElwain, who was diagnosed with autism at an early age, knocked down six 3-pointers in their division title game versus Spencerport on Feb. 16, 2006. The story quickly made national headlines, while McElwain turned into a celebrity overnight. McElwain met President Bush and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, and also appeared on various talk shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, and Today. McElwain even won an ESPY Award for the Best Moment in Sports in 2006.
DILIEGRO TO REPRESENT COUNTRY, RELIGION
In September, Dane DiLiegro was named one of 12 members of the United States men’s basketball team that will compete at the 18th Maccabiah Games in Israel from July 12-23, 2009. The announcement was made by the head coach of the U.S. men’s basketball Maccabiah team, Bruce Pearl, who is also the men’s basketball head coach at the University of Tennessee.
The Maccabiah Games, also referred to as the “Jewish Olympics,” are held in Israel every four years and include the top Jewish athletes from around the world. The 17th games in 2005 attracted the largest Maccabiah attendance in history. With over 50 countries represented by 7,700 athletes, including 900 from the U.S., the Maccabiah Games became the third largest sporting event in the world. This year, the U.S. is looking to take over 1,000 athletes, including Olympic athletes such as swimmers Dara Torres and Jason Lezak.
DiLiegro becomes the sixth UNH athlete to participate in the Maccabiah Games, including the first basketball player.
DiLiegro joins Duke’s Jon Scheyer and Arizona State’s Derek Glasser on the team, which won gold in 2001 and bronze at the previous Games in 2005. By making the U.S. squad, DiLiegro joins some elite company, including Dolph Schayes, one of the 50 Greatest NBA players of all-time, Hall of Fame basketball coach Larry Brown, and Mark Spitz, who won a then-record seven gold medals at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, an achievement surpassed only when Michael Phelps won his eighth gold medal of the 2008 Olympics.