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FMU Celebrates Homecoming on Saturday; Pats host Pirates

FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University men’s and women’s basketball teams will play host to Peach Belt Conference foe Armstrong Atlantic State University on Saturday (Feb. 26) as the school celebrates Homecoming 2011 and Senior Day.

The women’s basketball game will tip-off at 1:30 p.m. in the Smith University Center, followed by the men’s contest at 3:30 p.m. Admission to all events on Saturday will be free.

Both games will be broadcast on the radio at WWFN The Fan, 100.1 FM, and both contests will be televised live on Channel 11 of Florence’s Time Warner Cable system as well as streamed on the internet at http://fmu.nmtvsports.com/

Homecoming activities will begin Saturday at 10:30 a.m. with a women’s basketball Alumni Game in the gym, followed at 11 a.m. by the men’s basketball Alumni Game.

PatriotFest will begin at 11 a.m. in the Smith University Center featuring live music and entertainment, a picnic lunch, and an opportunity for alumni to interact.

At 1 p.m., the 24th-ranked Patriot baseball team (8-3) will play host to Seton Hill University (0-0) for a non-conference doubleheader on Cormell Field.

From 1:30 p.m. until approximately 4:30 p.m., the 13th-annual Swamp Fox Club Benefit Silent Auction, featuring sports memorabilia and merchandise, will be held in the Smith University Center gym.

Between games of the regularly scheduled basketball doubleheader, at approximately 3:15 p.m., former Patriot basketball players and coaches Kim Slawson Hawkins and Bob Wilson will be inducted into the FMU Athletic Hall of Fame.

Hawkins played four seasons of basketball at Francis Marion from 1982 to 1986. She also played volleyball during her sophomore year. She earned a B.S. degree in economics from FMU in 1986. She is married with two children and has been the administrative assistant at Lester Elementary School in Florence for the past 10 years.

During her playing career with the Patriots, she appeared in 131 games for then coach Sylvia Hatchell and helped Francis Marion to a 113-18 record, including three national tournament appearances and the 1986 NAIA national championship. She scored a career-high equaling 22 points in her final contest – the national title game win over Wayland Baptist University – after which she earned All-Tournament Team recognition. She ended her career with 1,198 points (currently 19th on the all-time FMU list), 524 rebounds (26th), and 370 assists (7th). She recorded a school-record 462 steals – a total that also stood as the NAIA national record until 1990.                                   

Selected to the 20th-anniversary FMU Team, Hawkins was named to the American Women’s Sports Federation Freshman All-America Team in 1983 and to the AWSF All-America squad (fourth-team) as a senior in 1986. Following her FMU career, she played briefly with the professional Women’s Basketball League’s Charlotte franchise. She returned to Francis Marion and served as an assistant coach for volleyball in 1989 and as an assistant for women’s basketball from 1992 to 1995.

Wilson, a native of Louisville, Ky., transferred to Francis Marion from Western Kentucky University in 1978. He played two seasons for the Patriots, from 1978 to 1980, and earned a B.A. degree in history in 1982 and a master’s degree in education in 1991.

Married with two children, Wilson has taught and coached at both West Florence and Wilson high schools, and in 2007 he guided Wilson to the AAA state championship. In some capacity, he coached hoops in the Florence area for 29 seasons from 1980 to 2009.

During his playing career at Francis Marion, Wilson appeared in 58 career games and averaged 15.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per game while helping the Patriots to a combined 42-19 record. He ended his career owning the then Patriot men’s records for free throw accuracy – both single-season (89.3%) and career (86.4%). Despite only playing two seasons, he still stands 22nd on the career scoring list with 880 points.

As a junior, he was voted the “Best Shooter” by coaches in NAIA District Six. He co-captained the 1979-80 Patriot squad and helped that team record a best-in-school-history-to-that-date 24-7 mark. Following his playing career, he was later named to the FMU All-Decade Team for the 1970s. He later returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach for eight seasons, including the 1990-91 campaign that saw FMU advance to the NAIA National Tournament (1991).

The two will join 35 current members in the FMU Athletic Hall of Fame, which was formed in 1991.

The 2011 Homecoming King and Queen will be announced at the conclusion of FMU/AASU men’s game.

Prior to the start of each basketball game, seniors from both squads will be recognized. The women will honor four players: guards Robin Colbert, Monica Mann, and Shannon Singleton-Bates and center Danelle Downs.  The Patriot women are 17-8 overall and 10-7 in the Peach Belt Conference, while the AASU Lady Pirates are 8-17 and 4-13.

The men will honor guard Bryant Julious, forwards Simel Boyd and Dominique Coleman, and post players David Turner and Mindaugas Petreikis. The Francis Marion men (15-10, 8-9) will qualify for next week’s PBC Tournament with a win on Saturday. AASU (14-11, 8-9) is one of three teams, along with FMU and UNC Pembroke, battling for the final two tournament spots from the PBC’s East Division.

#100/2-25-11

Last Published: March 4, 2011 3:30 PM
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