The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

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Season for the record books

Only five players in NCAA Div. I had managed to accumulate 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 300 blocks, since each of these stats were kept. They're all big names, like Alonzo Mourning, David Robinson and Tim Duncan. Now add Kyle Hines to that list.

Hines was honored in February by being the first Spartan basketball player to have his number retired while still an active player. He raised the team's level of play, as the defense was forced to collapse on him in the lane, freeing up the Spartan perimeter shooting. When he got the ball down low, he was seemingly unstoppable.

The season began on the road with the team's first win ever over an ACC opponent, Georgia Tech. It built to a feverish pitch with hard-fought classics against SoCon rivals in a packed Fleming Gym.

The 6'6” forward reached the 2,000/1,000/300 milestone on national television, as the team took on Davidson. After the game, Hines' focus was on the team.

“I just want us to get back to our team goals,” he said, looking to the remainder of the season. “We can put together a run again, I think.”

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Burns Photo
Daren Burns
With a bow on top

When your birthday's on Christmas, you learn to have patience. Wrestling standout Daren Burns says he'd get his holiday gifts in the morning … then wait for the birthday celebration in the afternoon.

He began his wrestling career at UNCG racking up wins the way a youngster tears through every gift under the tree. SoCon Freshman of the Year. All the way to the bronze at the Pan Am Wrestling Championships his sophomore year. Undefeated in SoCon matchups his junior year, even with an injury.

But he was redshirted and sat out last season after surgery, patiently watching as his body healed. He resumed his career last summer by going to the University Nationals and finishing second in his weight class. “I won five in a row — then lost.”

It earned him — as well as teammate Joe Scheffield, who finished second in another weight class — an opportunity to go to the World Team Trials and to train at the Olympic Training facilities. “To be with the top wrestlers in the country and wrestle them every day … unbelievable.”

He started this season with a high national ranking. Ask him what sets him apart, and he'll speak about the confidence he brings each time he steps on the mat. “I think, ‘I'm going to pin this guy for the team.’”

His season began with a few words from Coach Loukides. “Coach told me I needed 26 wins.” That would break the UNCG career wrestling wins mark of 98 held by Joe Stanton '97. “I'd never thought about breaking the record — or that no one had gotten to 100 wins.”

He hit the century mark Feb 13 as the team defeated NC State in Raleigh.

“I've been close to being an All-American several times.” He hopes to end the season wrestling for a national title. No one has a lock on it, he explains. “Ten guys could do it. It's hard to rank them. It's whoever comes that day ready to win.”

It'd be a special way to wrap up a season and tie a bow on his collegiate career.

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Pluck and pucks

It's midnight. Do you know where your students are?

If they're on the UNCG club hockey team, they've likely starting their practice at the Ice House.

All their practices are at midnight. Some games start well after midnight. “It's very hard to get ice time,” says Samuel Regniere, president of the club. Kid and adult leagues create demand for ice time in town, so you have to be flexible.

As with any club sport, it's driven by student initiative. They pick their leaders and make their decisions. “If we want to practice, we do it. If not, we skip a week.”

Campus Recreation provides some support, but the skaters provide their own equipment and collectively pay for the ice time and incidentals. (The players projected the costs and each pitched in $400 for the season, Samuel says.) It takes pluck and leadership and teamsmanship — fueled by a love for the game.

So why hockey? “Fun. There's no other word for it.”

Plus Samuel has an extra reason. “I'm Canadian. It's in my blood.”

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Athletics Women's Weekend

More than 75 of the campus' former female athletes gathered in late January for reconnecting, reminiscing and recognition. All those who participated in sports through 1981 received a special medallion. From play dates and intraschool competitions to NCAIAW through Division I, all the athletes were honored.

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Flying High

The #33 basketball jersey of Rita Wiggs '75 was installed in the Fleming Gym rafters. Her career average of 18.45 points per game is still the highest for any UNCG player, male or female. She is commissioner of the USA South Conference.

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Beijing Bound

Before the softball Team USA begins Olympic play, they'll stop in and take on the UNCG team. Tickets are sold out for the April 10 contest on campus.

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Hall of Fame

At FallFest, women's soccer star Ali Lord '99, baseball's Tonka Maynor '94, women's golfer Becky Morgan '97 and the 1981-82 women’s basketball team, runner-up in the Division III tournament, were inducted into the UNCG Athletics Hall of Fame. In February, another five were enshrined: former men's basketball coach Larry Hargett and athletic administrators Nelson Bobb, Cathy Roberts, Frank Pleasants and June Galloway.

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The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Location: 1000 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro, NC 27403
Mailing Address: PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
Telephone: 336.334.5000
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Last updated: Tuesday, 04 October 2011
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