Saturday, December 13, 2008

"Mac Court to Matt Court"

The Oregonian has some quotes from Nike's Phil Knight at today's press conference announcing the naming of the new basketball arena at the University of Oregon after Knight's son Matthew who died on 2004. (see post below)

Phil Knight Said:

"Matt was not a child of great accomplishment," "He never graduated from college. But he seemed to be finding a niche in charitable work...."

"He liked to rebel, never in a bad way -- he was never into drugs and booze, which we were grateful for, and he always had the best of friends -- but he didn't really like authority that much, and he had a particular way of tweaking the nose of his father.

"He inherited his father's love for sports but if his father rooted for Georgetown, he made sure he rooted for Connecticut. If his father rooted for Duke, he made sure he rooted for North Carolina.

"But that line stopped at the University of Oregon. He loved Oregon sports. And indeed in the last five years of his life, he went to more Oregon games than I did, which is saying a lot. I know that he would look on this with particular pride."

"The ultimate tribute in naming, in our eyes, was obviously the gift by Leland and Jane Stanford to the great university named after their son Leland junior. This is by no means at that level. This is just a small slice of an already existing university. A university that I must say, over the last 15 years of the leadership of the previous speaker (Frohnmayer) has really gotten better qualitative in every way.

"A lot is made in the media about its athletics but it's also its music program, its education program, its business school, its law school, and right on down the line across the board, it's become better in every way.

"We're proud to be associated in this way with this, and we hope that the Matthew Knight Arena will be something that's warm and vibrant for many decades to come."
It's reported the the crowd applauded then stood for an ovation.

Rachel Bachman of the Oregonian reports that after the above statement Phil Knight took a few questions and the first came from golfer and Oregon Duck Peter Jacobsen.

"So we're gonna go from Mac Court to Matt Court?" he asked.

"You bet," Knight said.

"Good with me," Jacobsen said.