100th Anniversary Basketball Team
Last year marked the 100th season of men’s basketball at Rhode Island. To commemorate the milestone, URI selected a 100th Anniversary Team that will be honored on December 16th at halftime of URI’s game with DePaul. The players include:
Chet Jaworski ’38 - Named All-America after leading nation in scoring in 1938 with 22.9 ppg...two-time team captain...compiled 1,426 career points...URI Hall of Fame Class of 1973.
Stan “Stutz” Modzelewski ’42 - Three-time All-American...one of the original players that ran Coach Keaney’s “Firehorse Brigade” offense...led nation in scoring in 1940 with 23.1 ppg...totaled 1,730 career points...later played with New York Knicks and officiated for nine seasons in NBA.
Ernie Calverley ’46 - Only men’s player to have his number (3) retired at URI...stands fifth with 1,868 points...three-time All-American...most famous for the “shot heard ’round the world” in 1945 NIT to propel the Rams to national championship game...coached Rams for 11 seasons and 154 wins.
Steve Chubin ’66 - URI’s all-time leading scorer with 2,154 points...led Rams to program’s second appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 1966, as well as a pair of Yankee Conference Championships.
Art Stephenson ’68 - Rams’ leader in career (1,048), season (420), single game (28) rebounds...stands eighth with 1,776 points...still tops all Rhode Island players with a 54.5 career field goal percentage...one of only two Rams to score 1,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds.
Sylvester “Sly” Williams ’79 - Seventh all-time with 1,777 points...ranks in top-10 of 13 other statistical categories...went on to play in NBA with New York Knicks and Boston Celtics.
Horace “Pappy” Owens ’83 - Ranks ninth with 1,750 points and in top-10 of seven other statistical categories...led 1981 Rams to a 21-8 record, Eastern 8 Championship and an appearance in NIT Tournament...drafted by NJ Nets, before being traded to Philadelphia 76ers.
Tom Garrick ’88 - Member of 1988 “Sweet 16” squad that compiled school-record 28-7 mark...ninth all-time in scoring (1,573) at URI...ranks in top-10 of 16 other categories...taken 20th by LA Clippers in 1988 NBA Draft.
Carlton “Silk” Owens ’88 - Only Ram to score 2,000 points with 2,114 in four varsity seasons...holds seven records and ranks in top-10 of 23 others...captain of 1988 “Sweet 16” team that compiled 28-7 record...two-time first-team All-Atlantic 10...New England Player of the Year 1988.
Kenny Green ’90 - All-time leading shot blocker (328)...led nation with 124 rejections in 1990...ranks 11th in scoring (1,724) and fourth in rebounding (996)...member of 1988 “Sweet 16” squad.
Cuttino Mobley ’98 - Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and star of 1998 “Elite 8” squad that finished 25-9... also led 1999 squad to A-10 Championship and NCAA Tournament...scored 1,334 career points...current NBA star with LA Clippers.
Tyson Wheeler ’98 - Star point guard for 1998 “Elite 8” team that finished 25-9...ranks third with 1,918 points in school history...URI’s all-time leader in 3-pointers, assists and steals and ranks among the top-10 in 34 other statistical categories.
Coach Frank Keaney - Ram coaching legend from 1920-1948...renowned as father of fast-break basketball...URI’s all-time winningest coach with 401 victories...inducted into Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1960.
The Student Athlete-Development Center
Visit the University of Rhode Island Web site and you’ll see the phrase, “Building a New Culture for Learning.”
It is in that spirit the school is moving forward with plans for a new Student Athlete-Development Center. The latest improvement to the athletic complex on the Kingston Campus is designed to enhance the student-athlete experience at URI.
Last spring, the state legislature gave its approval for URI to borrow $7 million in order to construct the center. The preliminary architectural plans—developed by HOK, the award-winning sports venue designer of the Ryan Center—call for 10,830 square feet of new space and 17,389 square feet of renovated space that will be located on the west side of the existing athletics complex and will serve as a gateway to the practice fields.
While the state has approved URI’s borrowing money for the project, the school must raise the funds. Once the Student Athlete-Development Center committee chaired by Joseph Formicola Jr. ’69 raises the first $3.5 million, President Carothers has said the school will match the funds to reach the amount needed to amortize a loan from the state.
”The world of intercollegiate athletics is extremely challenging, very demanding, and ever-changing, ” commented Formicola. “Our athletes need the very best of what URI can offer—in our classrooms and residences, as well as in the field and in the training room.”
Interim Director of Athletics Gregg Burke agrees: “The Student Athlete- Development Center and other facility upgrades are paramount to both our recruiting efforts and our responsibility to student-athletes.
“Building a strength and conditioning facility and renovating and upgrading space for sports medicine and academic advising allows us to prepare our athletes for competition on the field and in the classroom. It speaks directly to fulfilling potential.”
In recent years, the athletic complex has seen the construction of the Ryan Center and improvements to Meade Stadium. Campus wide, URI has benefited from the building of the Ryan Center, the renovation of both Green Hall and Ballentine Hall, the reconstruction of several dormitories, and several other major projects.
“We have been working hard at URI to bring state-of-the-art facilities to all areas of campus,” said Vice President of University Advancement Robert M. Beagle. “This has allowed us to attract better students. It certainly helps with recruiting more well-rounded student athletes, but it also shows our non-athlete alums that we are always looking to strengthen what it means to be a URI graduate.”
Among the improvements the project calls for are:
• State-of-the-art weight training and aerobic fitness areas.
• Sports safety training and rehabilitation areas.
• Modern hydrotherapy stations.
• Offices for training staff and coaches.
• Physician’s examination rooms and counseling areas.
• Student-athlete study spaces and meeting rooms.
• A new sports gallery to display team images and memorabilia.
In a letter to boosters and potential donors, Formicola stressed the need to provide URI students with state-of-the-art facilities and additional staff support.
“I’m proud to say the University provides its student-athletes with a committed administration, highly qualified coaches, a knowledgeable staff, and a very competitive schedule,” Formicola wrote. “Now we must continue working to bring URI’s facilities up to the standards of our peer universities.”
Beagle lauded the work of Formicola, who has pieced together a committee of more than 20 former athletes and coaches from various URI teams. Several boosters and other URI supporters are on the planning committee for the project.
“We have received a very enthusiastic response from those people who have provided feedback,” Beagle said. “This is a project that every coach and student-athlete we’ve had would advocate for.
“We are fortunate to have Joe Formicola heading this project. He is someone who cares passionately about URI, and he has really rolled up his sleeves and worked to get this done. It’s absolutely a need that will benefit all aspects of life at URI.”
—By Shane Donaldson ’99