‘Noon ball

A cherished campus tradition (for some) for more than three decades following the opening of the Phoenix Sports Center in 1976, mid-day and Saturday morning games of pickup basketball flourished before tapering off in recent years. (A core group of players posed for this snapshot after what was billed as “the final noonball gathering” a few years ago.) The always-competitive games attracted a mix of current faculty and staff, community members, students and even former Phoenix players. We asked former Athletics Director Dan Spielmann — who with an office at the PSC didn’t miss many games and with a highly reliable 15-foot range didn’t miss many shots, arguably making him the all-time Noon Ball leading scorer — to list some of his most memorable teammates and opponents over the years. He did, and while he admits it’s by no means comprehensive, it’s enough to start the discussion:

  • Michael Conner, former Phoenix player — Great player, probably too good to have been playing with us, we dragged him down
  • Tom Brown — Ditto
  • Phil Clampitt — All World, but only in his world
  • Phil Thompson — “On me if he misses”
  • Joe Urcavich — Enjoyed playing with him, but a “basket hanger”
  • Sue Bodilly — Phoenix Hall of Fame
  • Kathy Mertz — Ditto
  • Russ McElrone — Great athlete who would scatter some passes
  • Tim McKeough — Great shooter
  • Wayne Junio — Ditto, and most even tempered
  • Scott McFarlane — Great three-point shooter and never saw a shot he didn’t like, a prolific scorer
  • Wayne Walker — See Conner and Brown
  • ‘Feeco Bill’ — All-around good player
  • Kelly Franz — Only one move
  • Tom Maki — Best staff three-point shooter
  • Pat Sorelle — Survived noon ball