100th Season Celebration Set for This Weekend

MOUNT PLEASANT - Central Michigan University basketball turns 100-years-old this season and the Chippewas are throwing a 100th Season Celebration this weekend, Feb. 6-7.

Shortly after James Naismith created the game using a couple of peach baskets in 1892, CMU began sporting a university team in 1904-05. The Chippewas fielded a team every year after that despite wars and the depression.

To honor CMU's basketball history, Central Michigan University athletics has a host of events planned for this weekend revolving around Saturday's game against Kent State. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

"We're really excited about this event," CMU coach Jay Smith said. "Chippewa basketball is filled with great tradition. There have been great coaches in this program, from Dan Rose to Ted Kjolhede to Dick Parfitt. We've had several championships dating back to the Michigan Collegiate Conference, the Interstate Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the six Mid-American Conference titles we've won since turning Division I.

"We've had great players who went on to careers in the NBA like Ben Kelso, Dan Roundfield, Ben Poquette, James McElroy, Dan Majerle and Chris Kaman. Plus, there were countless other players before them who built a foundation. Chippewa basketball is known for a lot of things, including the toilet paper toss, and there is a lot to be proud of here at CMU. We hope to get 100 former players, coaches and managers back to campus to celebrate with us and make this a special time."

Following is a breakdown of the activities planned:

* On Friday night, former players will have a reception at The Embers in Mount Pleasant at 7 p.m.

* There will be an Alumni Legends game on Saturday at 10 a.m., in Rose Arena. All former players are encouraged to participate or cheer on their former teammates. Former coaches Ted Kjolhede and Dick Parfitt will serve as the honorary coaches.

* A luncheon will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m., in the Rose Arena Auxilary Gym. The cost is $10 per person and $5 per child under 12. To register, call the Chippewa Club at 989-774-6680.

* Right before the game CMU will unveil a 100th Season banner that will permanently be displayed in Rose Arena.

* CMU will reenact the famous toilet paper throw prior to the game. Former players will make CMU's ceremonial first basket and the fans will then shower the court with rolls of toilet paper. The tradition became famous in the late 1980s until rules were put in place to give the home team a technical foul for delay of game. Fans would throw the rolls of toilet paper at each home game after the Chippewas made their first field goal.

* CMU will host MAC East Division-leading Kent State at 2 p.m. The Chippewas will wear a special retro-inspired jersey to commemorate the 100th Season Celebration.

* At halftime of the game, all former players, coaches and managers will be recognized in a special ceremony.

* Throughout the week, fans will be asked to vote on the top moment in CMU men's basketball history through an online poll on cmuchippewas.com. The top 10 moments will be unveiled throughout the game.


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