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Former Racer coach Mark Gottfried headlines Who’s Who list at MSU gathering

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Posted: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 7:00 am

Steve Prohm sat behind his new desk Tuesday morning, pouring over a list of former players and coaches whose names were scribbled onto a yellow legal pad.

It's quite a list, to say the least.

But even more impressive than seeing names like Marcus Brown, Popeye Jones and Jeff Martin -- all of whom are committed to attending the first-ever RACERHOOPALOOZA Thursday and Friday -- is the list of guys Prohm has yet to meet in his seven-plus years with the Racers.

It's impressive, because he met nearly everyone.

"One of the most exciting parts is just that we have so many great players and coaches that have come through here, and they've almost all been back at some point or another," Prohm said. "There's just a handful of guys that I haven't gotten the chance to meet, and that's because this place really makes an impact on people. You can see that, because they always seem to come back."

The two-day event will feature a banquet Thursday night, where Murray State will honor former Racer head coach Mark Gottfried -- now at NC State -- with a toast. A social hour and silent auction of select Racer basketball memorabilia will begin at 5:30 p.m., with dinner set for 7 p.m.

Friday morning, the basketball program will host a golf scramble at Murray Country Club. The shotgun start is set for 8 a.m. and foursomes will have a fifth Racer celebrity assigned to play with each group.

"I've finally been able to settle in here as the head coach," Prohm said, "and there were a lot of things that I wanted to do once that happened. This is one of those. It's a chance to showcase the history of this program and just hear the stories from former players and coaches. It's going to be a great night for Murray State basketball."

Jones, who played for the Racers from 1988-92, is Murray State's all-time leading rebounder with 1,374 career boards. The Dresden, Tenn. native was the nation's top rebounder in back-to-back seasons, averaging 14.4 rebounds per game in the 1991-92 season.

"The biggest thing for me is to be able to come back to Murray and see the guys I played with," Jones said. "But I'm also looking forward to meeting the players who were there before me and after. Coach Prohm has done a great job in reaching out to the former players and coaches and creating that Racer family atmosphere. He's done that with his current team, but also for us."

Jones spent parts of 11 seasons in the NBA playing for the Mavericks, Raptors, Celtics, Nuggets, Wizards and Warriors. Since his playing days, he's served in the New Jersey Nets organization and this season will be moving to the Indiana Pacers as an assistant coach.

 Martin, the school's all-time leading scorer, posted 2,484 points in his Racer career from 1985-89. Martin was a senior during Jones' freshman campaign, and scored 806 points (26.0 per game) during his junior season. Martin spent two seasons in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers and a total of 11 seasons as a professional.

Martin's son will walk-on for the Racers this fall, lengthening the bond between himself and his alma mater.

"There is no question that Murray State basketball has been as good as any program in the country, and I'm just really proud to be part of that," Martin said. "I'm very excited to come back to campus and see everyone, and I'm bringing my entire family. Thanks to Coach Prohm for reaching out to us. When he contacted me, I knew I wanted to be there."

The full list of attendees includes: Tom Adams, Tevester Anderson, Ivan Aska, Darron Boatright, Marcus Brown, Justin Burdine, Bruce Carter, Tony Easley, Derrick Flowers, Michael Floyd, George Fotso, Ray George, Mark Gottfried, Ron Greene, Arnell Hamilton, Tim Haworth, Gene Herndon, Tyler Holloway, Danny Jarrett, Keith Jenifer, Popeye Jones, Rob Kennedy, Jewuan Long, Cal Luther, Jeff Martin, Deteri Mayes, Len Mahoney, Walter Moore, Dwayne Paul, Bennie Purcell, Issian Redding, Kenny Roth, James Singleton, Picasso Simmons, Scott Sivills, Barney Tweatt, Danero Thomas, Mike Turner, Bo Walden, Antoine Whelchel and Shawn Witherspoon.

"It's a great group of guys," Prohm said. "There are some other guys that we really wish we could get back for the event, but this is a great way to start this event off in its first year. We have some great players and coaches coming into town, and we get to honor a terrific basketball coach in coach Gottfried. We have some special gifts for him and things like that, but this week is just about honoring a rich tradition at Murray State.

"I can't wait to just sit back and listen to all of the stories."

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