Alumni Community Celebrates Asbury-UK Exhibition – Asbury University
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Alumni Community Celebrates Asbury-UK Exhibition

November 7, 2016

LEXINGTON, Ky. — “I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to sit in Johnson First West and to think, ‘I’m going to play UK tonight,’” said former Asbury University basketball player Tim Glenn ‘93. He looked slightly wistful, glancing around at the crowd of Asbury alumni who had gathered to support the men’s basketball team before Sunday’s historic exhibition with the University of Kentucky.

Led by Coach Will Shouse ’02, the Asbury Eagles met the eight-time NCAA champion Wildcats in Lexington’s Rupp Arena. The scoreboard read 156-63 at the buzzer, but the numbers didn’t mean defeat. Uniting Asbury alumni from Texas to New York, the Eagles scored a decisive victory. Click here for coverage of the Asbury-UK exhibition, with perspectives from Shouse and basketball players. Check out our photo gallery below!

Glenn was one of nearly 200 alumni from across the U.S. who gathered at The Salvation Army in Lexington, sharing a meal, swapping stories and praying with the team before the tip-off at 7 p.m. in Rupp Arena. An Asbury Athletics Hall of Fame member and the first 1,000-point scorer in school history, Glenn says Asbury Athletics left an indelible mark on his life.

“The opportunities I had at Asbury affected my life in so many ways,” Glenn said. “It showed me how to walk in a Christian community. The Asburycommunity is incomparable to any place else.”

Ken Hutcherson ’63 was another former Asbury basketball player who celebrated at the alumni party. Attending a UK game has been on Hutcherson’s bucket list for years, and on Sunday, he got his wish, along with the even greater opportunity to cheer on a new generation of Asbury basketball players.

“We’re so proud of this team, and of Coach Shouse,” Hutcherson said. “I love being here with all the alumni and experiencing the thrill of Asbury being on the big stage tonight. We know they’re going to represent our University so well, and we couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Asbury’s alumni contingent also included Stu Smith ’77, who served as assistant coach to his father, Winston Smith ’50, during the first two seasons of intercollegiate basketball at Asbury. Before the historic match-up, he reflected on the unique opportunities offered by Asbury Athletics.

“Competing on this kind of stage in a Christ-like manner is a witness our students couldn’t have had in any other way,” Smith said. “This is a chance to further their education and sportsmanship and to grow together in a Christian community. It’s a dream come true for them, and a memory the rest of us will treasure forever.”

More than one fan had mixed allegiances on Sunday. Dr. Everett McCorvey is director of Opera at the University of Kentucky, but he and his wife, Alicia McCorvey, wore purple for their son, Asbury sophomore David McCorvey ’19.

“We are excited, proud and grateful to the Asbury University community,” Everett McCorvey said. “This is David’s second year at Asbury, and we have loved every minute of it. I’m honored to wear the Asbury t-shirt today, and I’m honored to cheer them on.”

During the game, Asbury fans made up a strong purple presence in Rupp Arena’s packed-out sea of blue. Asbury Music Professor Jill Campbell sang the national anthem, and the Eagles enjoyed loud support from their fans. A large group of Asbury students also watched the game live, cheering the Eagles from the Student Center.

“Everyone was there, and we all just had a great time together celebrating our friends,” said Daniel Kozar ’17. “Win or lose, none of us cared — the Eagles were going toe-to-toe with the Wildcats.”

Playing on the biggest stage in college sports, the Eagles had the full support of Asbury’s alumni community — a family that offers support and encouragement across the U.S. and in 80 countries around the world.

“When I was a student, I used to hear about the ‘great Asbury family,’ but it wasn’t until after I graduated that I found out how real it is,” said Helen Rhea Luce ’69 Stumbo, one of many Asbury alums who showed up to support the Eagles. “I still know where my Asbury friends are, and I still see them today. Those relationships last and endure, and it’s because of Christ, and the relationships we share in him.”

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