100 years of hoops

Ole Miss announced the All-Century men's basketball team Thursday afternoon. Read about it inside.

I was listening to the LSU-Mississippi State men's basketball game Wednesday night by radio. The game, certainly a significant one as far as the SEC race goes, wasn't on TV.

It was a thriller that went to the wire more than once. LSU won in double OT, and the LSU radio announcers said it was one of the fiercest battles they'd witnessed. Then they named a handful of others that came to mind.

"The Gerald Glass game," one said as they went through a short list.

LSU remembers that night in 1989 when Glass scored 53 and Chris Jackson scored 55 in a 113-112 Rebel win in overtime in Oxford. That one wasn't on TV either, but nobody has forgotten it, including the LSU radio team.

I told Gerald about the LSU radio guys mentioning his name at the announcement of the Ole Miss Men's Basketball CellularSouth All-Century Team at C.M. "Tad" Smith Coliseum Thursday afternoon. He smiled and seemed glad to hear they haven't forgotten about that unforgettable night.

"They didn't call it the Chris Jackson-Gerald Glass game either," I said. He smiled again.

The former NBA first-round pick in 1990 who is back with the Ole Miss program this year as he finishes up his degree said it's an honor to be selected to the list of 19 all-time players for the program.

But there is more to his story than basketball, and he hopes his presence on campus this school year can be a lesson for the current Rebel players.

"I want to set an example for these guys to let them know not to waste time while they're here and to take care of business academically while you're here," he said. "I enjoyed the program when I was here. The people here are great. I'm glad to be back, and I appreciate what the University has done for me right now allowing me to come back and finish."

Glass, from Greenwood, was joined today by two other members of the All-Century team.

"To be a part of Ole Miss basketball has always been great," said Coolidge Ball, the Indianola native who has lived in Oxford since his playing days. "This is where I wanted to be. My wife is from Lafayette County, and I've stayed close to the program. I've always enjoyed it, got season tickets and attend the games. It's just a great place to be, here in Oxford."

"It's a big honor to be a part of this," said Keith Carter, a Perryville, Ark., native who now lives in Oxford and is color commentator for Ole Miss men's basketball games on radio. "Not growing up as an Ole Miss fan, it didn't take me long to figure out there are a lot of great people throughout this basketball program. Coach (Country) Graham used to come to all our practices when I first got here, and we heard so many stories from him. It helps to build your program when guys come back and support. Coach (Andy) Kennedy has done a really good job of getting guys back. Coach (Rod) Barnes did the same, and Coach (Rob) Evans did the same. You look at a Duke or a (North) Carolina, there's a lot of pride in those programs, and that's what we want to have at Ole Miss."

Ball said he made the right decision to come to Ole Miss.

"I'm so proud I stayed in this state to play basketball," said the first African-American to play any sport at Ole Miss. "My heart is here at the University."

*** All-Century Team members:

B.L. "Country" Graham (1936-38) F – Baldwyn, Miss.

Robert "Cob" Jarvis (1952-54) F/G – Booneville, Miss.

Denver Brackeen (1954-55) C – Hickory, Miss.

Joe Gibbon (1954-57) F – Hickory, Miss.

Jack Waters (1959-61) F/G – Madison, Ind.

Don Kessinger (1962-64) G – Forrest City, Ark.

Johnny Neumann (1971) F – Memphis, Tenn.

Coolidge Ball (1972-74) F – Indianola, Miss.

John Stroud (1977-80) F – New Albany, Miss.

Elston Turner (1978-81) F/G – Knoxville, Tenn.

Sean Tuohy (1979-82) G – New Orleans, La.

Carlos Clark (1980-83) G/F – Somerville, Tenn.

Rod Barnes (1985-88) G – Satartia, Miss.

Gerald Glass (1989-90) F – Greenwood, Miss.

Joe Harvell (1990-93) F – Gosnell, Ark.

Ansu Sesay (1995-98) F – Houston, Texas

Keith Carter (1996-99) G – Perryville, Ark.

Rahim Lockhart (1998-2001) F – Mendenhall, Miss.

Justin Reed (2001-04) F – Jackson, Miss.

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