NCCU's 1989 National Championship Team to be honored

Courtesy: Courtesy of NCCU Sports Information
          Release: 01/09/2014
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Courtesy: Courtesy of NCCU Sports Information

DURHAM, N.C. – On Saturday, Jan. 18, North Carolina Central University’s Department of Athletics will honor the 1989 NCAA Men’s Basketball Division II National Championship squad during a halftime ceremony in the men’s contest against Delaware State.

This year marks the 25th anniversary for that magical squad as the maroon and gray finished the season 28-4 overall, taking down Southeast Missouri State in the most lopsided national championship game in NCAA history by the tally of 73-46.  To this day, it still stands as the NCAA Division II Championship Game record.

"I am excited about honoring one of our most prestigious athletics team in the history of NCCU Athletics,” said NCCU Director of Athletics Dr. Ingrid Wicker-McCree.  “The former student-athletes, coaches and staff who will be honored helped to lay the foundation for so many young men and women who have passed through our university.  Their legacy will be remembered and celebrated forever.  I hope that our current students and student-athletes will understand the impact our 1989 National Championship team has on their lives. Bringing the members of this team back to McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium will give them an opportunity to meet and thank them for garnering national attention and recognition to our great institution."

Along with the halftime ceremony, the NCCU Sports Network will unveil highlights and a special video on the NCCU Athletics YouTube page from ESPN’s broadcast of the game for fans to enjoy.

The 1989 team won 13 of the last 14 games on the way to the CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) Southern Division crown that included a 60-55 victory over CIAA power Virginia Union to win the South Atlantic Regional title and earned a berth to the “Elite Eight” in Springfield, Mass., the birthplace of basketball.

As a team, NCCU led the nation (NCAA Division II) in scoring defense (56.0 points allowed per game) and field goal percentage defense (38.9 percent).

This group was also inducted into the NCCU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1997.

Members of the 1989 national championship team were Charles Alston, Fred "Pop" Bennett, Henry Canty, Miles Clarke, Jeffrey Hayes, Joel Hopkins, Eric Jackson, Derrick Johnson, Derrick Leak, Adrian McKinnon, Marvin "Rat" Reed, Antoine Sifford, Dominique Stephens, Kelrick Thompson, Curtis Watkins, Head Coach Michael Bernard, Assistant Coach Gregory Jackson and Assistant Coach Ron Woodard.  

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