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During the first game after Bob Knight’s death, hundreds of IU supporters pay tribute to him

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Indianapolis, Indiana – The first IU men’s basketball game after the passing of illustrious Coach Bob Knight took place on Friday night.

In an exhibition game, Marian University was defeated by the Hoosiers 94 to 61. Assembly Hall spectators witnessed a moment of respect followed by a halftime tribute to “the General.”

Fans knew it would be a special night as they remembered the legacy of an icon who shaped Hoosier basketball, even as they entered the arena with the same excitement as they would for any other basketball game.

On Friday night, Assembly Hall was completely packed with supporters who came to pay tribute to the legacy of a coach who seemed to have an impact on everyone. It was an evening of contemplation.

“It’s been emotional,” said fan Larry Sherer. “I would say that. For everybody.”

“I’m kind of like lost for words because we are losing a legend,” fan Derrick Garberick said. “We’ll never get a coach like Bobby Knight ever again. There will never be a coach like him.”

Supporters described the occasion as wonderful but also emotional.

“What he’s brought to IU basketball, the state of Indiana, what he’s brought to the IU university, it’s definitely a major loss,” Garberick said.

“He touched so many lives,” said fan Ryan Hall. “Coach Woodson, Alford, the list goes on and on.”

To memorialize the coach, the team donned unique “RMK” commemorative patches while playing. Fans centered themselves in the stands, reminiscing about their personal encounters with Knight, whether it was during basketball camp or otherwise.

“It was just awesome,” Garberick said. “[It was an] awesome feeling to get to feel like what would it be to like if you were a player for Bobby Knight.”

“It was nice to meet him,” Hall said. “He was very cordial and he didn’t blow you off or anything like that. He was very hands-on, and you know, I think the world of him. He’s going to be really sadly missed.”

Some have recollections that span a lifetime, having worked alongside him during his initial two years in the Hoosier state.

“It was great memories; I only wish I had still been in school when we had the championships,” laughed Sherer, who was a student team manager during Knight’s first two years in Bloomington. “Coach was very demanding, but he never demanded any more of anyone else than he did of himself.”

Fans’ applause for “Bobby” on Friday night made one thing clear: his legacy and memory will live on.

Throughout the entire season, the men’s basketball team will don the commemorative patches.

 

 

 

 

 

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