February 27, 2007
Contact: Bernard Payton
Sports Information Director
University of the District of Columbia Celebrates 25th Anniversary
Of NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship
Washington, DC - The University of the District of Columbia will honor the 1982 NCAA Division II National Basketball Championship Team on Thursday, March 1, 2007, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the championship game. The University will host former head men’s basketball coach Wil Jones and several team members at a pre-game reception and will then honor the team before the 7:00 p.m. game against Columbia Union College in the UDC Physical Activities Center (Building 47) on the University campus.
“We couldn’t be more excited during a season of resurgence in our men’s basketball program to welcome back our national champions of 25 years ago,” says University president, Dr. William L. Pollard. “It’s an embodiment of our motto – a new day, a new opportunity. The linkage of past to present is very meaningful and we’re expecting the Firebirds of 82-83 to bring luck to the Firebirds of 06-07.”
The 1981-82 University of the District of Columbia Firebirds Men’s Basketball Team won the 1982 NCAA Division II National Men’s Basketball Championship on March 20, 1982, in Springfield, Massachusetts, by defeating Florida Southern University 73-63. The Firebirds were led that night by Earl Jones with 24 points and Michael Britt who pulled down eight rebounds.
The championship culminated an incredible 25-5 season for the Firebirds, who won all sixteen of their home games and was 9-5 on the road. The Firebirds’ march to the finals included victories over Virginia Union University (who featured future NBA great Charles Oakley), Mount Saint Mary, Cheyney State University and Cal State-Bakersfield before ultimately claiming the national title with the win over Florida Southern.
The 1982-83 team produced the University’s first two All-American athletes, Earl Jones, who was drafted in 1984 by the Los Angeles Lakers, and Michael Britt, who was selected in the 1983 draft by the Washington Bullets. UDC also returned to the Division II National Championship in 1983, losing in the National Finals to become the runner-up.
The 2006-07 Firebirds are 19-8 for the season, after making a remarkable turn around from a 1-22 season in 2005-06. They return to action on Thursday, March 1, against Columbia Union College after playing in the Independent Schools Tournament in Fort Myers, Florida.
The University also will recognize current UDC athletes who have distinguished themselves as scholar athletes by achieving a grade point average of 3.0 or above for the fall semester 2006. Thirty-seven athletes have earned this recognition and will be introduced during half-time festivities.
The University of the District of Columbia is the fully-accredited sole public source for accessible, inclusive, affordable, and comprehensive public higher education in the District of Columbia and provides additional life-long learning opportunities. The University delivers quality instruction and uses student-centered approaches to empower and benefit both individuals and its local communities. The University, an urban land grant institution, is a very diverse community, a gateway to the world, and a significant investment engine for the District of Columbia. The University is located at 4200 Connecticut Ave, NW Washington, and is conveniently located at the Van Ness/UDC stop on the Red Line of Metro. For more information on other University activities, contact Mike Andrews, Senior Director for Communications and University Spokesperson at (202) 274-5685 or visit the University’s web site at www.udc.edu.