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The 80s (and B.J., Roy and Eddie) return to Carver-Hawkeye Arena Saturday

[ 1 ] February 1, 2012 |
Matt Gatens, Devyn Marble will sport the retro look Saturday

IOWA CITY, Ia. – One of Iowa’s greatest basketball teams will gather this weekend, to tell stories and test memories 25 years later.

Iowa’s 1986-87 team (see part one and part two of the Register’s three-part on-line series here) will be honored before Saturday’s 2 p.m. game with Penn State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” said Ed Horton, a sophomore center on that 1986-87 team that set school records for consecutive victories, 18, and victories in a season, 30. They also became the first Hawkeye team to reach No.1 in the Associated Press poll and led the nation in rebounding.

“I think we hold our own as one of the greatest teams Iowa has ever had,” Michael Morgan said.

Tom Davis, in his first season as coach, was named both Big Ten and Associated Press National Coach of the Year that season.

“Dr. Tom, I really look up to him,” said Gerry Wright, a senior center on that team and now the head boys’ basketball coach at Arroyo Valley High School in his home town of San Bernadino, Calif. “All the lessons I learned from him, and the things he taught me, not just about basketball, but about life.”

Every member of that 1986-87 team but Kent Hill, Michael Reaves and Mark Jewell are expected to attend.

The team will gather for a private function Friday night. Members of the team will then sign autographs on the concourse from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Commemorative posters will be available, while supplies last.

The Iowa team will wear throwback uniforms at the game in honor of Letterman’s Day. Jerseys from several members of the 1986-87 team, including the starting five, will be available for bidding via an on-line auction at www.hawkeyesports.com for a week after the game.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for youth and UI students. Saturday has also been designated as 80s day, and fans are encouraged to get decked out in their best 80s outfits. Music from that era will be played during pregame festivities. Basketball trading cards will also be handed out to the first 1,500 fans in the arena.

Some stories will be embellished when the 1986-87 gathers Friday. But there is one constant. Wright said he can still do the windmill dunk he made famous for as a player.

“I’m in fantastic shape,” Wright said. “I weighed 235 pounds my senior year (at Iowa), and probably got as heavy as 250 as a pro. I’m at 245 now. And I can still do the windmill dunk.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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