The Daily Gamecock

Basketball legends return to Columbia

McGuire, others to be honored in festivities over weekend

Old is set to meet new in Colonial Life Arena on Saturday, when South Carolina honors several former members of the men’s basketball team during the 2014 Legends Weekend.

The event is being held to commemorate former men’s basketball coach and hall of fame member Frank McGuire, who pioneered South Carolina to new heights in his tenure from 1964 to 1980. On his way to becoming the winningest coach in program history, McGuire set the school record for wins in a season with 25 victories in 1970 and earned an ACC tournament championship in 1971.

Current head coach Frank Martin said McGuire not only inspired change within the program but also in the community as a whole.

“When coach McGuire got here was the first time people actually started putting baskets in their driveways,” Martin said. “Before that, that never happened.”

A number of other Gamecock greats will be in attendance for the festivities, including All-American and Hall of Famer Alex English and fellow All-Americans Zam Fredrick, Kevin Joyce and Brian Winters.

Though so many South Carolina legends will appear at Saturday’s game against Ole Miss, the day will not be all about basketball. There will be a number of student giveaways on the concourse of Colonial Life Arena, along with a halftime ceremony to honor the 2013 football team that recently earned its third-straight 11-win season.

The weekend’s events are being held at the insistence of Martin, who hopes the festivities can give his current players a deeper understanding of the program’s history.

“Our players need to understand the kind of investment that — physically, emotionally, mentally — people before them made so then they can get the benefits that they get now,” Martin said. “You think those guys ever flew a charter plane back in the day? And they won. Our guys need to understand how lucky they are that those guys came through here and created history.”


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