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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Guilford Athletics Hall of Fame inductees honored

“He’s a big role model in my life — on and off the court,” said Jackson Kent of his father Robert Kent ‘76, one of the members of the ‘72–‘73 men’s championship basketball team. “He coached me throughout the years, and it really has been a blessing.”

On Sept. 21, as part of the Homecoming and Family Weekend, three former athletes — Amy Alfaro ‘90, David Heggie ‘98 and Danny Strelkauskas ‘98 — and the ‘72–‘73 National Championship winning men’s basketball team were inducted into the 2013 Guilford Athletics Hall of Fame.

“The hall of famers that we honor today have taken the lessons learned at Guilford and parlayed them into a meaningful benefit for others,” said Aaron Fetrow, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “My hope is that our current students will be inspired by their leadership.”

Indeed, these inductees are among the most accomplished in Guilford’s history and have since had exemplary careers.

However, they did not plan for greatness.

In fact, as Heggie recounted, they only wished to try their best.

“When I came to Guilford to play football and go to school, I never dreamed of getting records or getting in the Hall of Fame,” said Heggie. “I wanted to do two things. I wanted to be a good teammate who people could rely on … and I wanted to be a hard worker.”

The honorees were rewarded for their efforts. Their success came not from divine intervention, but rather, from perseverance and sacrifice.

“As soon as she came off that field, she came to the dorm and she studied diligently, hour after hour,” recalled former Alfaro roommate April Little ‘89. “Despite the long day, she would go on to study long after we had all gone to sleep.”

Heggie echoed this sentiment as he explained, “I knew I was never the tallest, never the strongest, never the fastest but I’d do my best to outwork everybody around me.

“Work means that you get up and do something every day. Whether you have something on your list to do or you don’t, you get up and do something.”

Mary Broos, former athletics trainer and part-time sports studies lecturer, certainly remembered these players’ strong work ethic.

“Heggie was always a hard worker,” she recalled. “He actually ruptured a muscle one time, but he rehabbed harder than anybody I’ve seen. He never let his injuries stop him.

“Strelkauskas was the same way. He had an amazing work ethic and was always ready to work.”

Marsha Jensen, widow of former coach Jack Jensen, added that the invincibility of the ‘72 – ‘73 championship basketball team, and perhaps all great players, comes from their regard for team.

“That team taught (others) the meaning of team,” Jensen said. “They were one unit. They were supportive of each other.

“It was because of the character of these men, and those that were involved with this team, that made them so very special to Jack.”

Strelkauskas and Alfaro had similar opinions.

“Most goals, baskets, spikes, touchdowns or however you score follow a quality pass from a teammate,” said Alfaro. “Nothing is more important than my team,” Strelkauskas added.

However, perhaps more than anything else, these athletic titans were ambitious. As numerous family members and coaches recalled, the players always had a special spark.

“They really wanted to prove to people that we were good, and they went in every game wanting to prove they were good,” said former athletic director Herb Appenzeller. “Thus, we became the only unseeded team in history to ever win a national championship.

“It was the impossible dream.”

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