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High hoops

To the Editors
I read the Fall 2002 edition of The University Magazine with great interest. Living in Michigan, I don’t have the opportunity to receive news about RIT to any great extent, so this magazine helps in that respect.

The picture of basketball star Jim Robinson ’68 brought back many fond memories of the RIT basketball team in the late ’60s. I went to many, many games and the high scoring Tigers were very entertaining. The picture shows Jim Robinson shooting one of his patented jump shots and it also shows his “running partner,” Rick Cetnar ’68, from Amsterdam, N.Y., who was a real leader on that team as well.

One thing I remember is that Jim was a terrific scorer and could really light it up. And I remember one year, possibly 1968, when he was in a tight duel with another player from North Carolina for the national scoring title. I would look at the stats from time to time and see if Jim was No. 1 or this other guy was ahead. As it turned out, the “other guy” was Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, who turned out to be a star in the NBA with the New York Knicks and other teams.

Thanks to the players I remember from those teams: Jim Robinson, Rick Cetnar, John Serth ’67, Ron Russell ’68, Bob Finkler ’66, Dick Schaeffer ’71 and all the others of the late ’60s. I really enjoyed their games and efforts.

Russel L. Larsen ’70
Clarkston, Mich.

To the Editors
The picture of Jim Robinson ’68 brought back two memories. First, those of events before Jim Robinson: My father, A. Leo Fox, coached RIT men’s basketball for 16 years, from 1940 to 1956. His last season, ’55-’56, was the only undefeated team in the history of men’s basketball at “the Institute.” I remember those practices downtown, where the team could not bounce the ball for fear of disturbing classes.

My father was one of the first inductees into the RIT Sports Hall of Fame, although posthumously. What a wonderful honor. Three members of the undefeated team joined him in later years: Al Landsman ’56, Ed Baucum ’59, and Arnie Cardillo ’60.

The one member who isn’t there, due to a technicality, is the starting center, Ken Hale ’56. In three varsity seasons, he scored 1,044 points and was the first player to score 1,000 points or more in a career.

The second part of the Jim Robinson story involved the RIT Tech Tourney in 1968. In the finals, it was RIT and Jim Robinson against Clarkson and Russ Hall. Both stars were renowned and it was a battle all the way. Clarkson won and Russ was named Most Valuable Player for the tourney. While I may be a bit prejudiced as I am an alumnus of Clarkson and Russ was a friend, Jim Robinson did not lose that night, but he simply shared the honor with another strong player. To see the two of them hug each other after the game said it all.

For my part, I am a member of the first MBA class at RIT. Thanks for allowing me to relive some wonderful memories.

Rick Fox ’71
Andover, Mass.