Emmitsburg, Md. (November 16, 2011)—The Mount St. Mary's Athletic Department will be honoring the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Men's Basketball National Championship Team with a season-long celebration.
Highlights include the retirement of John O'Reilly's number, fan giveaways, and honoring the team at the final home game of the 2011-12 season.
The Mount defeated Sacramento State, 58-57, in overtime on March 17, 1962, to capture the College Division (now NCAA Division II) title. Mount St. Mary's won its final 10 games of that season to surge to the title.
Three of those 10 games went to overtime, including a scintillating 67-64 quadruple-overtime victory over Albright in the NCAA East Regional.
At the NCAA College Division Championships, the Mount downed Wittenberg (43-39) in the quarterfinals before defeating Southern Illinois (58-57) to advance to the championship game.
The celebration will kick-off with the Mount's home opener on November 19th against Siena. The first 1,000 fans will receive a commemorative pin featuring the logo for the 50th anniversary celebration.
On December 10th, O'Reilly will be the fourth Mountaineer to have a retired number, joining Jim Phelan, Jack Sullivan and Fred Carter. Phelan has the number 830, representing his career win total, retired in his honor while Sullivan (32) and Carter (33) are the others.
O'Reilly had a storied career for the Mount, averaging 18.6 points and 13.7 rebounds in 81 career games. He was named to the NCAA Division II All-Tournament team in both 1961 and 1962. Named Second Team All-America once and honorable mention All-America twice, O'Reilly finished his career with 1,508 points and 1,113 rebounds.
O'Reilly's #51 will be retired at a halftime ceremony during the Mount's game on December 10 against longtime rival Loyola. The Mount will be giving away John O'Reilly cards to the first 1500 fans at the game.
In addition, the Mount's official athletic department website, www.mountathletics.com, will have interviews with Coach Phelan and members of the national championship team featured throughout the season. There will be recaps of each game during the championship season and commentary from Coach Phelan on key games.
On February 18th, the season-long celebration will be capped with the 1962 National Championship team being honored at the final home game of the season against Fairleigh Dickinson.
The first 1,000 fans will receive 1962 National Championship rally towels while members of the team will be honored during a halftime ceremony.
1962 National Championship Team 50th Anniversary Schedule of Events
Saturday, Nov. 19, vs. Siena, 7 pm
Commemorative Pin Giveaway (First 1000 fans)
Saturday, Dec. 10, vs. Loyola, 2 pm
John O'Reilly Number Retirement Ceremony
John O'Reilly Card Giveaway (First 1500 fans)
Saturday, Feb. 18, vs. Fairleigh Dickinson, 7 pm
Rally Towel Giveaway (First 1000 fans)
Ceremony to Honor 1962 Team at halftime of the game.
LOOK FOR MORE EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE SEASON!