Hoops' All-century Team honored

The Ole Miss Men's Basketball All-Century Team was honored at halftime of the Rebs' victory over Georgia Saturday. In all, 19 former Rebels were voted to the prestigious team by fans, a committee of officials from the athletics department and the M-Club Alumni Chapter.

Older, yes.

More grey, yes.

But not forgotten. . .

Nineteen former Rebel men's basketball greats were honored at halftime of Saturday's Ole Miss-Georgia game after they were named to the Ole Miss All-Century Team earlier this month.

The names roll off the tongue easily for any Rebels hoops' fan. . . John Stroud. . . Gerald Glass. . . Don Kessinger. . . Johnny Neumann. . . Elston Turner. . . Keith Carter. . .and on and on.

Forty-one former players were nominated with the ballot including any Rebel that earned All-SEC honors or scored 1,000 or more points in his career.

The eras represented ranged from B.L. "Country" Graham, who played in 1936-38, to Justin Reed, who graduated in 2004.

"It was really good that all eras were represented well," said honoree Joe Harvell, who starred in the early 1990s. "I had always heard of Don Kessinger and Joe Gibbon and Coolidge Ball. To get to know them better was special to me."

Harvell, who played one year with Glass and scored 2,078 points during his Rebel career, said he was humbled by his selection.

"To be included with all these great players and great people is really kind of overwhelming," Harvell continued. "We have more basketball history here than a lot of people realize and to be selected in that elite group is something I will always cherish.

"I was also fortunate enough to play one year with Gerald and to be mentioned in the same breath with him is doubly satisfying."

All-time Rebel and SEC assists leader Sean Tuohy with 830 career dishes, said the day was special to him as well.

"What is extra special to me is the fact that four of the recipients were on my team - John Stroud, Elston Turner, Carlos Clark and myself," said Tuohy. "For us to be remembered in that light, as a team and as individuals, is really something we appreciate. It was nearly 30 years ago for some of us and Ole Miss basketball still means a lot in our lives.

"My children go to school here, I have a house here and come to as many games as I can. I'm glad to see what Coach (Andy) Kennedy is doing with the program. I have past, present and future with Ole Miss and I wouldn't have it any other way."

Three of the honorees - Rod Barnes, Graham and Cob Jarvis - also happen to be the three winningest coaches in school history.

Jack Waters, who also had a 25-year coaching career, said the game has changed a lot since he starred at Ole Miss from 1959-61, when he earned All-SEC honors three times.

"With the introduction of the three-point line, everything changed. Coaches have to decide whether to guard inside or guard the outside shot. In my day, we packed everything in about 15 feet from the basket," Waters noted. "The game is more open now. The three-point line has opened things up under the basket and created more avenues for penetrating and, if there is no shot, kicking it back out for the three-pointer.

"But one thing that hasn't changed is that you still have to put the ball in the basket."

Waters was surprised he was selected to the All-Century Team.

"It was a big honor for me and my family for me to just get nominated. To get selected is a real thrill, something I will always remember," stated Waters.

The complete All-Century Team include: B.L. "Country" Graham (F, 1936-38), Cob Jarvis (F/G, 1952-54), Denver Brackeen (C, 1954-55), Joe Gibbon (F, 1954-57), Jack Waters (F/G, 1959-61), Don Kessinger (G, 1962-64), Johnny Neumann (F, 1971), Coolidge Ball (F, 1972-74), John Stroud (1977-1980), Elston Turner (F/G, 1978-81), Sean Tuohy (G, 1979-82), Carlos Clark (G/F, 1980-83), Rod Barnes (G, 1985-88), Gerald Glass (F, 1989-90), Joe Harvell (F, 1990-93), Ansu Sesay (F, 1995-98), Keith Carter (G, 1996-99), Rahim Lockhart (F, 1998-2001) and Justin Reed (F, 2001-04).

OM Spirit Top Stories