The hardwood face-off between the West Virginia University and Marshall University basketball teams will bring added attractions to the Capitol City on Wednesday, Jan. 23. The WVU Alumni Association is inviting alumni and friends to meet Mountaineer Olympians as part of the annual Capital Classic Pre-Game Reception at the Charleston Civic Center North Hall from 6:15 p.m.-8:15 p.m.
In honor of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake, four former Olympians will attend the reception to greet fans, pose for pictures and sign autographs. Those scheduled to appear include:
Zeke Jones : In his fourth season as assistant coach of the WVU wrestling team, Jones earned a silver medal in wrestling in the 1992 Olympics. He is regarded as one of the all-time greatest wrestlers in his weight class. He was a world champion in 1991, a Goodwill Games champion, a four-time world cup gold medalist, a six-time U.S. champion, and is listed as one of the Top 100 athletes of the 20th century by The Arizona Republic.
Pat Itanyi : This current graduate assistant track coach was WVU s first female national track champion in the long jump. Itanyi competed in the long jump for her native homeland of Nigeria in 1995. She is a seven-time All American and is now using her expertise to mold other track champions at the University.
Bill Bonsall : Bill Bonsall competed as a gymnast in the 1948 Olympic Games in England. A retired physical education professor and gymnastics coach, Bonsalls competitive spirit and determination reflected the courage that sustained him through time as a prisoner of war in Germany during World War II. He recently demonstrated the Olympic spirit again by serving as one of several inspirational leaders who bore the Olympic torch as it passed through Morgantown on its way to Salt Lake City. He also carried the Olympic torch in 1996 through the streets of his hometown of Philadelphia.
Ed Etzel: Ed Etzel, associate professor of sport psychology at WVU , won a gold medal in the men’s smallbore rifle prone event at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. He served as WVU ’s head rifle coach for 12 seasons, amassing a 101-5 career record and leading the WVU team to many of its 20 national titles.
The pre-game reception has become a tradition for the Association, says Christy Day, assistant director. Each year colleges, units and the Universitys regional campuses participate in the pre-game function. They offer information to prospective students and to alumni and friends about the University. Once again, many of the displays will be interactive and offer hands on activities.
The Office of Admissions and Records will also be providing on-site application reviews for high school seniors. This allows students to know if they are admitted to the University. A $25 application fee, the students SAT or ACT score and their high school transcript are required.
The WVU Steel Drum Ensemble is the featured entertainment for the evening, with special selections provided by the WVU Alumni Pep Band. Last year more than 1,000 people attended the pre-game reception. A capacity crowd is expected again this year. The event is free to the public and hot and cold hors doeuvres will be served. For more information, call 304-558-3481.
Prior to the reception, the Lady Mountaineers hit the hardwood at 5:30 p.m., followed by the mens game at 8 p.m. For tickets, call 1-800-WVU-GAME.
An alumni luncheon will be held earlier in the day at Embassy Suites Hotel. Gov. Bob Wise is scheduled to be on hand and offer remarks along with WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. and head coaches Gale Catlett and Mike Carey. Guest appearances by WVU ’s men’s and women’s basketball teams are also scheduled.
Carrying out the Olympics theme, Tim Shriver, the national executive director of Special Olympics and son of Special Olympics founder Eurnice Shriver, will be on hand to salute WVU s role in hosting the annual Summer Games. This years activities are scheduled June 7-9 on the WVU campus.