It's certainly a special day when you have the two men who led Arkansas to four of it's six Final Fours, many of the players involved in that and the 42nd President of the United States on hand.
That was the stage Saturday at Bud Walton Arena as former coaches Nolan Richardson and Eddie Sutton and former President Bill Clinton joined some of the the best basketball players ever to step foot on campus.
They were among a season-high crowd of 18,904 fans that watched the current Razorbacks down LSU 81-70 at Bud Walton Arena.
"I thought it was a lot of things came together today," current Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson said. "When I look out and I see all the fans that came. They came and they embraced these guys...and I'm talking about the former players, Oliver Miller, Corliss Williamson, Todd Day, and we're talking about these guys being all up under one roof. That's pretty special. That's pretty unique."
"It's something I'm sure our fans will remember," Anderson said. "And those guys. Some of those guys hadn't seen each other in awhile. So it was neat for them to come here and to have Coach Sutton and Coach Richardson here at the same time - that's priceless."
The list of players also included Sidney Moncrief, Lee Mayberry, Jim Counce, U.S. Reed, Mike Young, Lee Wilson, Ron Huery, Arlyn Bowers, Corey Beck, John Engskov, Roger Crawford, Warren Linn, Shawn Davis while former assistant coach Brad Dunn was also on hand.
"I don't think our guys even realize what has taken place," Anderson said. "I think it's going to take them a day, when they get away to go, 'Whoa, did that really happen?' I mean, because when you talk about a national championship, some of those guys may have been one or two years old. Some of those guys may have not even been born.
"You talk about the Triplets during the Eddie Sutton era, talk about the Triplets during Coach Richardson's era," Anderson said. "But they know there's some history here, some tradition here. So it's great for them to meet and see those guys. Even at halftime, our guys were getting ready to come out, and you should have heard the former players. I mean, they were cheering them on — hey guys, it's second-half time. They were talking like a coach.
"I thought that was kind of neat. I sat back and listened to it and to me, all it did was nullify what I said at halftime," Anderson continued while smiling. "Those guys at halftime just talking to them, I thought was the difference."
Clinton spoke at halftime and told the fans to be proud of their program.
"I want to say to all of you you should be so proud of what Arkansas basketball has meant to our state," Clinton said.
He also had a few special ones for Richardson, who endured a rough start to lead Arkansas to its only national championship in 1994.
"I want to thank Nolan Richardson for not only teaching us 40 minutes of hell, but be willing to go through hell," Clinton said.
Arkansas announced that Sidney Moncrief's retired jersey will be hanging in Bud Walton Arena next season as will Williamson's soon-to-bne retired jersey and a banner honoring Richardson.
Photos by Jason Ivester
Former Arkansas head coaches Eddie Sutton and Nolan Richardson along with former President Bill Clinton lead the Hog Call at halftime.
Clinton and Sutton talk while sitting court side in the second half.
Clinton talks about former Arkansas head coach Nolan Richardson during the halftime ceremony
Current Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson broke out the red jacket for the big day.
Anderson and Michael Qualls laugh with Clinton after the win in a photo courtesy of Arkansas.
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