Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ronnie Lee Comes Home

I have seen a lot of athletes in my life but the one that stands out the most was Ronnie Lee one of the original "Kamikaze Kids" who played basketball for coach Dick Harder at the the University of Oregon in the early 1970's. Thursday night when Oregon plays Stanford at Mac Arther Court Ronnie Lee will be Oregon's honorary captain. It's hard to explain to those were not there what Oregon Basketball was like back then. Click on the title above for a link to a newspaper story in today's Eugene Register Guard that does a good job. During that time I had returned to the University of Oregon for law school, after two years in the U.S. Army, and it was a magical time. As I have posted below this is the last Pac-10 season to be played at "The Pit" before Oregon moves to it's new basketball area, "Matt Court." I would love to drive to Eugene just to see Ronnie at "The Pit" one more time. To watch Ronnie Lee drive toward the basket in his acrobatic way was a thing of beauty. He symbolised the expression "They don't know what hustle is until they play Oregon." As I type this I have his autograph on a poster hanging on the wall of my office. He would wear out his game sneakers in one game ! I have never seen a community fall so hopelessly in love with an athlete like Eugene, Oregon in the first half of the 1970's. For those of us who were there the love has never died ! Welcome home Ronnie.