Lost in the excitement of this past Saturday’s “Under the Lights” football game between the University of Michigan football team and Notre Dame, was the return of one of the basketball programs greatest players, Cazzie Russell.
When the arena is nicknamed after you, gaining access whenever you want shouldn’t be a problem. So when Michigan Athletic Director David Brandon found out that the former All-American Russell had not been to a Michigan Football game in decades, he quickly reached out and invited him. After accepting the invite Russell was asked if there was anything he would need while on campus and his only request was;
An hour alone in the gym
For the 6’5 guard out of Chicago, IL Yost Fieldhouse was where he led the Wolverines to three consecutive Big Ten titles and back to back Final Four appearances from 1963-66; his only time playing on the Crisler Arena court came during his NBA career when his New York Knicks played the Detroit Pistons in an exhibition game there – so to have the Crisler court, in the house that his legacy built, to himself had to be special.