The Umpqua Community College men’s basketball program hosted an alumni game on Saturday, Nov. 11 in Roseburg for the 50th anniversary of the program. UCC men’s basketball started in 1967 and has proven to be a successful basketball program on the court as well as helping students continue to be successful.
UCC won their first championship during the 1971-72 season in the OCCAA Tournament, a runner-up finish during the 1988-89 season, and have since won four Southern Region championships with multiple appearances in the Final Four during the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) Tournaments in years past. UCC finished third in the Final Four last year in the NWAC Tournament.
Former coach and player Donell Morgan was in attendance for the event and helped coach the alums for the game. Morgan is a proven success story coming from UCC as he was recruited by former coach Rod Snook, coached UCC for multiple seasons (2003-08) and coached the team to a third place victory during the 2008 season, he continued his basketball career after UCC playing Division I basketball at Idaho State University as well as playing internationally for five years.
The alumni game was filled with friendly competition when about 20 alumni players showed up to play against the current UCC basketball team.
UCC’s current team started fast with an 8-2 lead and never looked back, winning the game 100-77. Even though the alumni took a loss to the young guys, all the players and fans still had a great time. Approximately 100 people were in attendance for the event.
“It was really cool to get the opportunity to play with the guys again,” UCC alum Jacob Jansen said. “To see such a great turnout from the community to support the UCC basketball program for its 50th anniversary was great,” Jansen continued. “Hopefully we keep doing it every year.”
UCC also provided a free dinner for the alumni, their families and current players following the game.
“The turnout was phenomenal, and it exceeded my expectations,” UCC’s head coach Daniel Leeworthy said. “There were a lot of alumni here and a lot of families. It was fun, and it was a great game.”
The UCC men’s basketball team will start the regular season on the road versus Lower Columbia in Longview, Washington on Dec. 1.