The Official South Carolina Athletics Site
Blog

Former Student-Athletes Reflect at All-Sports Reunion

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

As part of Homecoming, the Gamecock Club hosted their All-Sports Reunion reception last week for student-athletes who graduated in 2002, 1992, 1982, 1972, etc. Check out below what some of the attendees had to share about being back home at Carolina.


Alumnie Reception MAC 11-10-1200039.jpg












Troy Duke (1992) talking with fellow former student-athletes


Troy Duke - Football (1992)

Q: What does it mean to you as a former student-athlete to be able to come back and have an event like this.
A: I guess the most important thing is to see the old teammates and classmates and the people who have paved the way before I came through the University of South Carolina, so that's a new thing for me. You see some of the stories and see the change in the University and the way the athletics department is working.

Q: Now being with the Letterman Association have you been around a lot already and already seen a lot of the changes they've made?
A: Not until I became an executive committee member and eventually becoming the president of the Letterman Association. The facilities that they're doing and just being informed by the athletic director and all their appointees as they innovate, things they're thinking about, trying to bring us up to the level of a top ranking SEC team - which I think we are at and I'm sure anyone who comes through this facility will agree.

Q: What about any of the facility changes most impressed you compared to your playing days?
A: *laughs* Now, you see that score board out there. I guess from a football perspective, just the new facility level practice fields and the weight room facilities and the training rooms and the players lounge. They have a very user-friendly player's lounge and it's more geared towards building the unity amongst the players, so I really do enjoy that. I really do like the way they are setting that up and enjoy how I see the guys just communicating with each other and just socializing and relaxing with each other.

Q: Now, you're going to be recognized on the filed tomorrow. Are you excited or do you have any stage fright? Or are you just happy to be back down there again?
A: You know, I don't like being around crowds of people, unless I'm in Williams-Brice. So just bringing back that old feeling when you ran out there and got on the field and you made plays and there were people cheering for you. No matter how many times I hear the crowd get loud, I get that little flash back every now and then.



Ryan Brewer - Football (2002)


Q: What does it mean to you as a former player to be able to come back and have an event like this?
A: I mean, it's great for all players to come back, especially people that haven't been here. I live here so I see this all the time, but for all the guys, seeing their faces, walking in, especially the football guys and seeing the training room, weight room, and the lounges. It's almost, I don't want to say jealousy, but "Man I wish we had this". It's pretty cool and obviously [the All-Sports Reunion] is something new and we want to make it grow and get some of these guys out here to see all of this.

Q: Now obviously you had a couple special moments as a player here, but do you have any favorite memories or one that stands out?
A: No, it's really just being here in general, just being at Williams-Brice and being on that field. Anytime Bruce [Ellington] kind of gets [the cheer] like I had and before me was Boo [Williams]. Every time he catches the ball hearing the "BRUUUUUCE" going on there, it's pretty special to hear that. It's one of the great moments out here. But any time you can step on this field it's a privilege.

Q: Just football specifically, what has it been like to watch the team's ascent? You were here for some really great years, but then to see this team even surpass that and do even better what does that mean to you to see the program grow?
A: Oh it's great to see. We are getting to where we want to be. We are a national-status football team now. When we first came here in '99 we were 0-11 but we knew with the class we had and with Coach Holtz here we were going to grow and we were going to do something special and I think since then it's been growing. We've had a couple bumps in the road, but Spurrier came here and has done a great job in bringing in some tremendous athletes that have made this program grow. It's fun to watch and no matter how old. That's the great thing about this, these guys here, football players, any sports, no matter how old they are they've been through the same thing, they've been on the same field bleeding garnet and black out there. No matter what these guys say they're brothers to us and we fight with them on that field.



Troy Duke - Football (1992)

Q: What does it mean to you as a former student-athlete to be able to come back and have an event like this.
A: I guess the most important thing is to see the old teammates and classmates and the people who have paved the way before I came through the University of South Carolina, so that's a new thing for me. You see some of the stories and see the change in the University and the way the athletics department is working.

Q: Now being with the Letterman Association have you been around a lot already and already seen a lot of the changes they've made?
A: Not until I became an executive committee member and eventually becoming the president of the Letterman Association. The facilities that they're doing and just being informed by the athletic director and all their appointees as they innovate, things they're thinking about, trying to bring us up to the level of a top ranking SEC team - which I think we are at and I'm sure anyone who comes through this facility will agree.

Q: What about any of the facility changes most impressed you compared to your playing days?
A: *laughs* Now, you see that score board out there. I guess from a football perspective, just the new facility level practice fields and the weight room facilities and the training rooms and the players lounge. They have a very user-friendly player's lounge and it's more geared towards building the unity amongst the players, so I really do enjoy that. I really do like the way they are setting that up and enjoy how I see the guys just communicating with each other and just socializing and relaxing with each other.

Q: Now, you're going to be recognized on the filed tomorrow. Are you excited or do you have any stage fright? Or are you just happy to be back down there again?
A: You know, I don't like being around crowds of people, unless I'm in Williams-Brice. So just bringing back that old feeling when you ran out there and got on the field and you made plays and there were people cheering for you. No matter how many times I hear the crowd get loud, I get that little flash back every now and then.


Deane Hall - Football (1972)

Q: What are some of your favorite memories from when you played at Carolina? Or from just being a student?
A: I guess doing things with my teammates. We were like a family. Back in those days we lived in the athletic facility, the athletic dorm. So we not only played football together, practiced together, all-season workouts, spring practice, but we also did a lot of things- it was almost like a fraternity actually. We did a lot of things together, great memories. There was a group of us who were all in the business school and we studied together. I had some really good experiences in the business school too. I had a couple of professors that I got to know quite well and it was nice to be able to go after class and could talk to them and ask them questions. It was all around a great experience.

Q: What does it mean to you to be able to come back and see all the improvements that have been made and how nice everything is?
A: It's pretty amazing. You should have seen our training rooms!  It's great to come back. It's a reunion for us almost at every home game because so many of our teammates all tailgate in kind of the same area where we are....We try to come back for all the home games. This year we actually did two away games. We went to Vandy and to the Florida game.



Sheila Foster - Women's Basketball (1982)

*Sheila Foster, from Spartanburg, is one of the all-time greats in women's basketball at Carolina, still holding records as the team's all-time leading scorer and rebounder as well as games played, games started, and minutes played. In 1982, Sheila Foster became the first Gamecock woman to have her jersey number retired and in 1993, she was the first female athlete to be inducted into the then 41-member University of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame. After the All-Sports Reunion she had already connected with Coach Staley about coming to the see their season-opening game that night vs. Elon. She said Staley planned to show her around the new Colonial Life Arena locker rooms after the game as well.

So what did it mean to you to be able to come back?
A: Oh, it's just like another family to me. Just to see everybody, and some of the people I don't remember but they remember me, that's also a great feeling. But just to be back in the Gamecock area.

Q: Have you been able to come back for any games? Basketball or other?
A: I've been back for a couple of basketball, but I really want to come down here and help the girls. I really do. But I need to come to mores games. I need to be a part of it more.

Q: What does it mean to you just to see all of the improvements that have been made around here?
A: Oh it's beautiful. Back in the days, it was still nice for us when we were here, but oh it's nice. It gives you chills! When I walked over to the glass I said, "Oh my god. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!" That's the Gamecocks!



Alumnie Reception MAC 11-10-1200092.jpg













Even Cocky got in on the action at the All-Sports Reunion and helped with the food!



No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://cstv.collegesports.com/mt5.2/mt-tb.cgi/40555

Leave a comment