Lebo Involving Former Players in AU Program

Players going back to the the post World War II Era were in Auburn for a reunion and to check out the AU basketball program.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn's second Legends basketball game and the reunion weekend around it was a big success. That's the word from former Tiger and former pro basketball player Ronnie Battle.

"I really enjoyed it," Battle noted after scoring 23 points in a game that featured 191 points on the scoreboard prior to Auburn's SEC home game vs. the No. 1 ranked Florida Gators.

"It feels good to be on the big floor with the AU on it and seeing a lot of my former teammates here," Battle says. "The weekend has been gorgeous. I got to see people I haven't seen in a long time and we have had chance to have some fellowship. It feels good to be here and feel the Auburn spirit."

Battle says he enjoyed spending time with members of the current Auburn team as well as the coaching staff. "From the area I am from, we have Quan Prowell playing and I know him real well," Battle says. "I am friends with Coach (Jeff) Lebo and his whole staff."

Battle is the sixth leading scorer in Auburn history. He was an immediate impact player for the Tigers coming out of Russell County High in Pittsview. He finished his career with 1,916 points. A dangerous long-range shooter who hit 42.3 percent of his career threes for the Tigers, he showed that he still has a great touch in Saturday's Legends Game.

The guard used his skills to play professionally in Europe. "I played in Spain, I played in Poland and I played in Croatia for seven years and now I am coaching middle school basketball at Russell County so I am back home again," he says.

Battle, whose final season with the Tigers was 1992-93, says Auburn is a different looking place than it was during his student days. "Auburn has changed tremendously and it has grown a lot," he says. "I can see the great things they are doing."

Wesley Person participated in the game for a second straight season and showed his long-range shooting touch.

Lebo and his staff have made an effort to get former players like Battle to feel like they are still a part of the Auburn basketball program. Battle says he is glad to be asked to participate.

"It is a great idea for the former players to come back and help with the program," he says. "It is something we should do. We want to continue to make it stronger and stronger. It is a good thing."

The youngest player in the game was the leading scorer as graduate student Brett Howell, a member of Lebo's staff, finished with 26 points. He was followed by Reggie Gallon with 24, Wesley Person with 21, Chris Brandt and Nathan Watson with 19 each, Ronny LeMelle scored 18 points and Franklin Williams finished with 16.


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