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In the Mississippi Valley,
In the Crescent Bend
Stands our loved and noble Xavier,
Far her praises send.
Wave her colors bear them onward
Gold and white so true
Hail to thee, all hail, dear Xavier
Hail, all hail, X.U.!
Xavier, ever be our guide
And lead us on the way,
Through life's journey, onward, upward
To the eternal day. (Refrain)
From Seals to Owens to XU — a special gift for new arena
Autographed NBA warmup top to be presented during Crosstown Classic
presentation during Saturday's
doubleheader, which also will include Senior Day ceremonies for SiMon
Franklin of the Gold Nuggets and Denzell Erves, Keenan Gay, Nick Haywood,
Wanto Joseph, Anthony Simmons and Renard Smith of the Gold Rush. Owens did not
tell Seals of the plans until January "because I wanted to surprise him.
But when I told him, he was good with it."
February 21, 2013
NEW ORLEANS — Competent basketball statisticians
never award two assists for one field goal. But Saturday's
Crosstown Classic at Xavier University of Louisiana's new Convocation Center
will feature a two-assist transaction.
A warmup top, worn by XU standout Bruce Seals during his
time with the NBA's Seattle SuperSonics, will be presented to XU's athletics
department for permanent display in the new facility, which
seats nearly 4,000. The presentation will occur during the men's game
between Xavier and Dillard, which will tip off at 5 p.m. The XU and Dillard
women's teams will meet at 3 p.m.
Seals autographed the Sonics warmup and gave it to
longtime friend and classmate Ronnie Owens during the 1980s. The gift was not
a special occasion, Seals said, but Owens eventually had special plans in mind.
"I had thought about donating the warmup to the
Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame in Baton Rouge, where Bruce is a member," said
Owens, who met Seals in ninth grade at Booker T. Washington High School and
also was an XU classmate. "But when the Convocation Center opened, I knew
this was the right place for it."
XU athletics director Dennis Cousin agreed, had the
warmup top framed and scheduled a
XU basketball legend Bruce Seals, second from left, with son Bruce Jr., daughter Denitra and longtime friend Ronnie Owens, right. They'll all be at the Convocation
Center on Saturday for the XU-Dillard Crosstown Classic — women's game at 3 p.m., men's game at 5.
Seals arrived in New Orleans from his home in the Boston suburbs
on Wednesday with his son, Bruce Jr., and his daughter, Denitra. On Thursday they
took a campus tour which not only included the Convocation Center but also
two more recent additions to XU's expanding landscape: the St. Katharine Drexel
Chapel and the Convocation Center Annex.
When the tour reached the Convocation Center, the reaction of
Seals was similar to others who have visited since its
opening in early November. "Wow," he said. "This is a beautiful place."
Before November, Seals and hundreds of other XU student-athletes
developed their games at The Barn, a 1,300-seat gymnasium which opened in
1937 and had legendary status by the time Seals played
his first XU home game in the fall of 1971. Seals, a 6-foot-8 forward, contributed to legend of The Barn
and became one himself. He averaged 22.2 points and 13 rebounds during his two seasons,
helping the Gold Rush win back-to-back NAIA District 30 championships and
qualify both years for the NAIA National Championship. In the second round
of the '73 national tournament, Seals had 32 points, 10 rebounds
and 12 blocked shots in a 67-60 upset of top-seeded and unbeaten Sam Houston State.
Seals then played five seasons of U.S. professional basketball
— two with the Utah Stars of the ABA and three with Seattle — then
played a few more seasons in Europe before retiring.
He is an assistant men's basketball coach at NCAA Division III's Emmanuel College in Boston and a longtime athletics director
of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester, Mass.
Seals on Thursday recalled a couple of memorable XU games.
One, during his freshman year, was a home game against Grambling. It was their
second meeting of the season, and coach Bob Hopkins wanted to make a statement
after Norman Zanders' late basket was disallowed in the Tigers' 85-83 victory at Grambling.
"Coach told us if we didn't beat Grambling this time
by at least 10 points, we were going to practice right after the game," Seals said.
"Well, no one wanted to practice."
Hopkins got what he wanted: a 131-95 victory. It was one
of seven 100-point performances during a 12-game win streak, and it's still
the fourth highest point total by a Gold Rush team. "Grambling couldn't get the ball
past half court for a long time," Seals said.
The other memory was from late in Seals' sophomore year,
just a few weeks before his triple-double against Sam Houston State. He
barely missed the bus which transported the Gold Rush to a game against city rival SUNO
and was forced to find another way to the game.
"I was mad," Seals said. "I didn't start because I
missed the bus. But I eventually got to play, and we won. But later that night, I thought about what
happened. I knew then that coaches had to be consistent with
all their players."
Donald "Slick" Watts, another XU legend who teamed with
Seals as a point guard on the Gold Rush and the SuperSonics, also will attend the Crosstown Classic.
"Slick made it to New Orleans," Owens said, "but he was going up to Mississippi
to surprise his mother with a visit before coming back down for the games Saturday."
|The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC).
Xavier fields men's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis and track and field and women's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis, track and field and volleyball.
Department of Intercollegiate Athletics
Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive
Campus Box 92
New Orleans, LA 70125
(504) 520-7329 phone
(504) 520-7934 fax