When the Bethel Wildcats host the Loyola Wolfpack on Saturday January 13 in a SSAC basketball doubleheader in Crisp Arena fans will not only be treated to two great conference games but they will also be treated to see some of the great Wildcats of the past. The 1982 men's basketball team will be honored at halftime of the men's game. The heralded team was inducted into the Bethel University Athletic Hall-of-Fame this past year. The squad is only the third team in Bethel history to be inducted into the Hall.
The 1982 Bethel Men's Basketball Team won the VSAC title with a 24-10 record. The team had three Bethel HOF members in Scott Allen, Mark McClintock and Danny "Scooter" Monroe. Three other superb key team members were Billy Ray Hampton, a West Tennessee star who remains a local basketball legend. Bobby Wheeler was a Junior College All American and decorated member of the championship squad. Many feel the best player on the team was Mike Loving who was completing his second year on the team in 1982. He scored over 700 points and averaged almost 24 points per game.
Ken Quinton, a 1983 Bethel graduate and member of the team said, "Winning the Volunteer State Athletic Conference (VSAC) championship was an amazingly exciting time especially beating Carson Newman from the East Division at home in the championship game. Beyond this win, the 82 team had three signature wins against DII Gulf South competition, twice beating Mississippi College and a victory over UT Martin at Martin." He added, "In the decade of the 80s this was an exciting, talented and accomplished team. I was honored to be a part of this team and am thrilled this great team and group of individuals were recognized and inducted in to the Bethel HOF 2017 class."
Bethel Director of Athletics Dale Kelley commented, "We are thrilled to welcome back these great Wildcats. They are wonderful people who paved the way for others and we truly hope they enjoy their day. It is a treasure to have them back on campus."
In coming home the 82 squad will enjoy a catered luncheon in the Board Room and then be taken on a tour of the campus. For some it will be their first trip back to campus since their days as a Wildcat. They also will meet with the current Wildcat team and share their thoughts about "The Bethel Experience."
Other members of the team include: Mike Roundtree, Kevin Bratcher, Dirk Anders, William "Spook" Spann, Jarvis Bell, Maurice Rives, Todd Burden and Mark Simon. The team was coached by Steve Dodd along with assistant coach Terry Reeves.
Tip-off is schedule for 4 p.m. in Crisp Arena. The men's game will be preceded by the women's contest beginning at 2 p.m. All fans are encouraged to be a part of this special day in honor of a wonderful group of Wildcats.