“When you say Jaguar basketball, the first thing that comes to mind is Peanut Butter and Jelly,” said former South Alabama coach Ronnie Arrow.
Jeff Hoge and Junie Lewis, or Peanut Butter and Jelly, are set to have their jersey’s retired this Saturday as the South Alabama Jags celebrate 50 years of basketball.
“I think it’s just an awesome opportunity to see Junie and Jeff Hodge’s jerseys go up in the rafters where they’re duly deserved,” said former USA ballboy Corey LaBounty.
50 years of USA basketball has given us some memorable moments, but none are bigger than a certain game in 1989.
“But that day, the timing, the NCAA Tournament, the University of Alabama, us playing them, people told me the ones still here in town that there wasn’t a car on the road because they were watching that game,” said Coach Arrow.
The Jags and the Crimson Tide, meeting in the NCAA Tournament.
“Playing against the biggest rival that we had that would never play us,” said Coach Arrow.
The first half though, didn’t go as planned.
“19 points at halftime, I remember going in and Coach Arrow punching a hole in the chalkboard to get the team motivated and it worked,” said LaBounty.
“And as that second half progressed, and we caught up, and we caught up and took the lead, I would say about 98% (of the fans) went South Alabama,” said Coach Arrow.
With the crowd on their side, and 10 seconds left on the clock, a sequence began that will forever be remembered by South Alabama fans.
“I remember waiting, and it felt like an eternity, that that ball was in the air. Once it went through the net, everybody was jumping up and down,” said LaBounty
The play is iconic, the celebration is sublime.
“I had my Jim Valvano moment with Coach Arrow, I wanted to give him a big hug. He was running around looking for someone to hug. Just so happens I was small enough and light enough for him to pick me up,” remembered LaBounty. “It’s the one shining moment, March 17 1989, you know where you were, I know where I was, I’ll never forget that moment.”