For the former Rebel basketball players attending the UNLV Legends Reunion on June 1, this year’s get-together is truly a cause for celebration. With Jerry Tarkanian’s upcoming induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and a statue of the longtime UNLV coach soon to sit outside the Thomas & Mack Center, expect the smiles to be a little bit brighter, and the hugs a little bit tighter.
At press time, it was uncertain if Tarkanian, who has been in poor health, would be able to attend the reunion, although he will be honored. Former Rebels slated to attend the event at 7 p.m. at the Hooters pool include Freddie Banks, Eldridge Hudson, Anderson Hunt, Warren Rosegreen and Robert Smith.
The reunion is free to the public, and a buffet that includes all the beer and soda you can drink will be available for $20 ($15 for UNLV alumni members). Hooters will donate a portion of the proceeds to the UNLV Legends Foundation, an education-based nonprofit designed to help ex-Rebels complete their degrees, and there will also be a silent auction including items such as a Tarkanian-autographed Hall of Fame basketball and the opportunity to coach one of the teams at the annual UNLV alumni basketball game. Former Rebel Leon Symanski, who founded the Legends Foundation, says last year’s auction raised about $6,500, but he hopes to surpass $10,000 this year.
“It’s great to connect and talk about our glory days,” Symanski says. “You know, the older we get, the faster we were. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s really important for us from a tradition standpoint—and really from a Rebel family standpoint.”