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Throwback Game

On Saturday, the look of Albany basketball of the 1950s returns with uniforms, a nickname and an odd-looking mascot of old.

Legendary Coach Doc Sauers views and comments upon his team's 84-73 victory over Hamilton on Feb. 21, 1974, in University Gym. 

Gary Holway, the State College for Teachers' megastar of the late 1950s, displays the uniform style of 1958 in both a posed shot and in game action.  

ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb. 19, 2019) — For a few hours this Saturday night, "State" will once again signify the institution that became the University at Albany and the Great Dane will step aside for a learned penguin.

In celebration of the University’s 175th anniversary, the men’s basketball program turns back the clock more than half a century to honor its history as the New York State College for Teachers. For their 7 p.m. game against UMBC in the SEFCU Arena, the Great Danes will don custom-designed uniforms in the style of those worn by the teams of the 1950s, featuring the “STATE” wordmark.

And the mascot rooting on the team will be “Pedwin the Penguin,” who predated the Great Dane. The team's nickname will also return to that of old: the Pedagogues (a reference to those who studied the discipline of teaching).


 You can purchase tickets for the game.


UAlbany began celebrating its 175th anniversary in January with its "Unleash Greatness" brand launch. Founded as the Normal School in 1844, the school became the New York State College for Teachers in 1914, a name it kept until becoming a university in 1962.

In men’s basketball, UAlbany has a rich tradition that dates to the early 20th century and spans NAIA, Division III and then, beginning in 1999, Division I eras. The program made 24 Division III NCAA Tournament appearances under coach Richard “Doc” Sauers between 1955 and 1997. And under Will Brown, who has led the program since 2001, the Great Danes have been to the Division I NCAAs five times. In total, UAlbany basketball has won 1,280 games.

As part of the commemorative "throwback," the Athletic Department had Sauers sit down to view and comment upon films of some classic game. The 88-year-old coaching maestro, who is among the top-40 coaches all time with 702 victories, recalls the players and their skills, recognizes a bad call by a ref, and incisively critiques both the game of yesterday and that of today. UAlbany's Facebook page is now running his commentary on both a Siena game in the 1966 Cap City Tournament and a Feb. 21, 1974, victory over Hamilton. 

Current Coach Will Brown looks forward to the game on Saturday, and said, “I believe it is important to celebrate the history and tradition of this outstanding university as well as the basketball program's successes and its journey from the NCAA DIII level to the NCAA DI level.”

The throwback jersey design was inspired by a photograph of Gary Holway, who played under Sauers from 1955 to 1959. He finished with 1,851 career points, making him the program’s all-time leading scorer for almost five decades, until Jamar Wilson graduated.

“I’m always glad to have the chance to see guys who played for me,” said Sauers. “They’re all my friends. The uniforms have improved a lot since that time, but they bring back a lot of great memories. And of course it will be fun to see the Pedwin again.”

Commemorative merchandise is on sale at the University Bookstore and will be available online soon.

Additionally, UAlbany fans and alumni will have the opportunity to bid on and purchase select game-worn uniforms. An auction for eight of the game-worn jerseys began on Feb. 2 will continue through Saturday's game and through Monday, Feb 25, at 5 p.m.

UAlbany also will be using its Live Source mobile app to offer fans opportunities for unique memorabilia and fan experiences during future athletics-related events.      

 

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than
120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.