BALTIMORE, Md. – The Maryland men’s basketball program celebrated its 100th season in fashion Saturday night as the greatest players in school history gathered at Building 37 on the Under Armour campus in Baltimore.
Hosted by Maryland graduate and ESPN personality Scott Van Pelt, here are some of the best lines from throughout the evening:
Mo Howard: I scored my first varsity basket in Cole Field House. It was my first high school varsity basket. I was hooked on Maryland from that point.
Dutch Morley: It doesn’t matter the generation or era, everyone is a part of this program. That’s what makes it so special.
Albert King: What made Maryland so great for me was Cole Field House. 14,500 people standing up and cheering for you when you came through the tunnel was incredible.
Buck Williams: I played 17 years in the NBA, but when I came back to Maryland nobody talked about the NBA with me. They talked about Maryland. That means a lot. Everywhere I go now, I’m always associated with Maryland and I’m proud of that.
Tony Massenburg: I was in high school and saw this awesome forward at Maryland named Len Bias. Everything about him said ‘star.’ My love for Maryland started with watching Len. My goal was to get a scholarship at Maryland so I could play one year with Len Bias. Once I got to campus I was totally in love, and that allowed me to endure playing with three coaches and everything that came with it during that time.
Walt Williams: I wanted to bring Maryland back to prominence. As a young kid in my neighborhood, we were all in a race to see who could best pretend to be Len Bias. I wanted kids to pretend to be like me.
Joe Smith: I’m a Virginia kid, so I really didn’t know how big the Maryland-Georgetown rivalry was. You could really feel the adrenaline on campus as the game approached. It was my first college game and nobody knew what to expect, and I just wanted to show everyone what I had.
Johnny Rhodes: The win against Georgetown was great for the program. It helped bring Maryland back.
Keith Booth: The respect that Maryland had around the NBA was immense. I remember walking into training camp with the Bulls and Michael Jordan welcomed me as an ACC brother. A big part of the reason I got drafted was because of the reputation of our program.
Lonny Baxter: We thought we should’ve played for the national championship the year before. We returned the next year and we gelled together so well. The disappointment in 2001 really triggered our run the next year to win the national championship.
Gary Williams: The 2001 team was a great basketball team because we fought through a lot of adversity that season. I really believed we were good enough to win it in 2002, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to win it. I’m really proud of the fact that every team we beat on the way to our title had already been National Champions.
Chris Wilcox: The whole week leading into the Kansas game they all talked about Drew Gooden and Nick Collison being the two best big men in the country. I knew that day nobody was going to beat us. Gary believed in me and Lonny to go out and guard them. We knew if we could win that game, we’d be cutting down the nets.
Steve Blake: It was all about the journey. I remember messing around in the dorm rooms together just as much as some of the games. Maryland was special. It is a basketball school.
Drew Nicholas: What made us truly special was the type of competitors that we had, and that started with Coach Williams. And we had a guy like Bryon Mouton who people don’t mention at the top of the list, but he was the glue. He busted everyone’s butts every day on the scout team. And then Steve was the ultimate competitor. We were best friends, but when I got him in practice he wouldn’t talk to me for a few days.
Byron Mouton: I’ll never forget when I transferred to Maryland and my teammates helped me put my bed together when I moved in. When I walked in the room today and got to see everyone again it was like Christmas.
John Gilchrist: I’m so thankful to be in the presence of so many champions and winners. The 2004 ACC Tournament was a complete blur honestly. As a country boy from Virginia, I came to Maryland because of Joe Smith. Once I was there, Coach Williams taught me how to be a professional and it was really special.
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