The University of Detroit is hosting ‘Detroit Titans Legends and Traditions Weekend’ Sept. 21-22, with several former U of D greats returning to campus for a variety of activities. Here is the news release from the school:
The Titan tradition includes 104 seasons of basketball with 1,326 wins, 21 NBA/ABA draft picks, 17 All-American selections, 12 post-season appearances, three Horizon League Tournament Championships and two Horizon League Regular Season titles. Each Titan contributed to these accomplishments and deserves to be celebrated.
On Friday, September 21, the weekend tips off with a Titan Legends & Traditions Dinner that will benefit the Dave DeBusschere Scholarship Fund. The soiree will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by a strolling dinner catered by Titan corporate partner Sodexo at 6:30 p.m. Along with the dinner; the night will feature a storytelling of Titan Tradition and also the presentation of the 2012 Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship Rings. Cost is $100/person for this special event.
Saturday, September 22 will showcase the skills of the Titan Legends with a youth clinic and Legends basketball game. The youth clinic will take place beginning at noon with current Titan basketball players and the Legends conducting drills to prepare Detroit for more future legends. The clinic is FREE to youth. On Dick Vitale Court at Calihan Hall, former Titan men’s basketball players will then take the court to see who can still shoot, drive, and dunk with the Legends game beginning at 1:00 p.m. Fans will want to arrive early to grab their seats courtside to witness all of the skills the Titans!
I’ve actually interviewed and written about three U of D legends since this site launched in April. My story on Desmond Ferguson:
“I’ve never seen myself as just a jock or a basketball player and never wanted others to view me that way either,” Ferguson said. “I always knew that the actual playing of basketball on the professional level would really only be a small portion of my life, so that was never my only focus. I like to talk about education and things outside of basketball when I speak to the youth because more times than not, they will not be a professional athlete. Both my professional basketball and business experiences have allowed me to share many stories and lessons learned about life in general.”
“At first, I was like, ‘Hell no! He (Perry Watson) won’t even let me play my game,’” Jackson said. “I had to run the offense, I had to play defense, I had to set up shots for others. I was like, ‘I’m trying to get some shots for myself!.’ And everything was my fault — if Rashad Phillips was shooting too much or if Desmond Ferguson or Bacari Alexander were missing shots, it was my fault! In reality, coach Watson was probably the greatest thing that happened to me as a basketball player. He was teaching me the responsibilities of being a point guard and floor general. If you’re a point guard, you’re responsible for everything that goes right or wrong on the court. You control everything. Coach Watson is a true definition of a coach and father figure. He taught me how to be a father.”
“When I was playing overseas, I had a lot of down time, a lot of long flights and a lot of time to reflect on life,” he said. “I grew up on the East Side of Detroit where there were high rates of crime, failure, death. I came out of that and I’m the opposite of that environment. I would really like to chronicle my life and hopefully help motivate other people who are in that situation and share my story with them to give them hope that it is possible to get out.”