Marlaire To Be Honored At SEC

Featuring former greats from all 12 Southeastern Conference member institutions, the 2008 class of the Chick-fil-A Southeastern Conference Basketball Legends will be honored at the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament March 13-16 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Alabama's representative in the 2008 class will be former Rocket 8 member Leon Marlaire, a guard for the Crimson Tide, 1952-56.

"The Chick-Fil-A SEC Basketball Legends Program allows us to honor our past and show everyone why the SEC is one of the nation's premier basketball conferences," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.

An All-SEC performer in 1954, Marlaire helped lead Alabama to the 1956 SEC Championship with a perfect 14-0 SEC record. Nicknamed "Alabama's Hardwood Quarterback" and "Mr. Outside" and "Mr. Long Distance" for his shooting, he was a key member, playing point guard, of Alabama's famed "Rocket 8" basketball team that was ranked fifth in the nation in 1956. He scored 833 career points for an average of 9.2 points and averaged 4.6 career rebounds. Marlaire went on to play professionally on the 1956 ADA Oil Team and with the Denver Truckers. He graduated from Alabama in 1956 with a business degree and has been married since 1956 to his wife Vicki, also a University of Alabama graduate. Marlaire founded the Birmingham Tip-Off Club in 1974, an organization that still thrives today with more than 500 members.

In addition to Marlaire, the 2008 class includes Corliss Williamson, Arkansas; Wesley Person, Auburn; Dan Cross, Florida; Hugh Durham, Georgia; Kyle Macy, Kentucky; Frank Brian, LSU; Joe Harvell, Ole Miss; Wiley Peck, Mississippi State; Ronnie Collins, South Carolina; Bernard King, Tennessee and Barry Goheen, Vanderbilt.

Each Chick-fil-A SEC Basketball Legend will be recognized at halftime of his institution's first game at the tournament.

Highlighting the schedule of events at the Dr Pepper SEC Fan Fare will be appearances by the legends on the Chick-fil-A Press Box Stage. Complimentary posters of the legends will be available in the autograph area near the press box stage. FanFare will be open Thursday-Saturday, March 13-15 in the Georgia World Congress Center, adjacent to the Georgia Dome.

This marks the 10th year of the SEC Basketball Legends program.

Alabama's previous Legends are Reggie King in 1999, Wendell Hudson in 2000, T.R. Dunn in 2001, Leon Douglas in 2002, Buck Johnson in 2003, Derrick McKey in 2004, Gary Waites in 2005, Jim Farmer in 2006, and Mike Nordholz in 2007.

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