UW MBB: The brotherhood of basketball Badgers


UWBadgers.com Senior Writer

MADISON, Wis. — Dennis Sweeney. Dave Mader. James Horsfall. Gary Anderson. Robert Jenkins. Joe Chrnelich. Rod Ripley. Dave Vander Meulen. Roy Boone. Keaton Nankivil. W'Quinton Smith.

"I've tried to put my arms around all generations that played here."

Tom Molaski. John Korth. Moe Peterson. Billy Douglass. Gary Zinkgraf. David Grams. Mike Wilkinson. Louis Ely. Ben Brust. Josh Gasser. Osita Nwachukwu.

"I wanted to make sure everyone feels important because everyone is important."

Rashard Griffith. Rob Willey. Dan Fahey. Darin Schubring. Steve Radke. Bill Johnson. Rick Olson. Clayton Hanson. Charlie Wills. Dan Hastings. Steve Stephens. Jeff Hansen. Nick Murphy.

"I've really sensed from the alums how appreciative they are to watch our players."

Ted Voigt. Mark Newburg. Pete Brey. Lee Oler. Zach Morley. Buddy Faurote. Tom Hughbanks. John Ploss. Andreas Helmigk. Tom Barth. Jay Peters. Sean Mason. Brian Vraney. John Schwartz.

"I remind our players all the time that it wasn't always like this."

All the quotations belonged to Wisconsin's Greg Gard, who has gone to great lengths to preserve and honor the history of the basketball program by opening his arms to its alums.

The aforementioned players were in Madison last weekend. Many got together for dinner on Saturday night. Most got introduced at halftime of Sunday's game at the Kohl Center.

Some even scrimmaged Sunday morning at a local high school gym. Predictably, they all exercised their right to remember their skill level in a much different light today than when they played.

"Of course, there's always embellishment," said assistant Howard Moore. "We all embellish about our stats and how good we were. Unless you were there to witness it, no one can dispel it."

Moore played here in the early/mid '90s for Steve Yoder, Stu Jackson and Stan Van Gundy. He cited the brotherhood and the camaraderie of the alums, regardless if they won a lot. Or, lost a lot.

Nobody was put in an awkward position to feel like he was out there on an island. Explained Moore, "As in, 'I played for this guy, I played for that guy.' Or, 'I played in this era, I played in that era.'

Instead, Moore said, "It was, 'Hey, you wore Cardinal and White and that's all that mattered. That's the connection and that's what we want to keep together.'"

Similar experiences. Different storylines. That's how Moore put it. "And," he said, "you want to keep everyone connected, no matter how many minutes they played or what their stats were."

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