Pokes Host SMU Friday, Kenny Sailors Night
This coming Friday's Wyoming-SMU men's basketball game is being tabbed "Kenny Sailors Night" by the University of Wyoming Athletics Department. A halftime ceremony will honor Sailors and the 70th Anniversary of Wyoming's 1943 NCAA Championship Team, of which Sailors is the lone surviving member. Friday's game is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m., Mountain Time from Wyoming's Arena-Auditorium.
There is a special Pair Up With the Pokes' ticket promotion for Friday's game where fans may purchase two tickets and receive two free Pepsi products and two free hot dogs for a total price of $30. That is a savings of six dollars off the regular price of two adult tickets, which are $18 each, plus providing those ticket buyers with two drinks and two hot dogs at no cost. To take advantage of the Pair Up With the Pokes' ticket package, fans must purchase before 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 20. Fans may go online at GoWYO.com to order Pair Up With the Pokes tickets, or they may call: 877-WYO-FAN1 (877-996-3261) or 307-766-4850.
In 1943, the Wyoming Cowboys compiled a 31-2 record on way to the 1943 NCAA Championship. The Pokes defeated Oklahoma (53-50) and Texas (58-54) in the first two rounds of the tournament in Kansas City, Mo., before meeting Georgetown in the championship game in Madison Square Garden in New York City. Wyoming beat the Hoyas 46-34 in the NCAA Championship game on March 30, 1943, to win the title. Two days later on April 1, Wyoming played 1943 NIT Champion St. John's in Madison Square Garden in a game to benefit the Red Cross for the World War II effort. That game went to overtime before the Cowboys recorded a 52-47 win to earn the title of "World Champions".
Sailors individual accomplishments will also be recognized at halftime on Friday, including his induction into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in the fall of 2012. Sailors, who is credited with developing the modern-day jump shot and is the oldest living Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament, was one of 10 individuals who were inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo.
He helped lead Wyoming to the 1943 NCAA Championship while being named the National Player of the Year that season.
Sailors, who turned 92 on Jan. 14, 2013, and his former head coach, Everett Shelton, are the only two representatives from the state of Wyoming in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. Shelton was inducted in the inaugural class of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
After teaming with Shelton to lead Wyoming to the NCAA Championship in 1943, Sailors enlisted in the Marines and served in the South Pacific during World War II. After being away from the game he loved for two years, Sailors returned to Wyoming for the 1945-46 season and once again earned All-America honors.