FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Northern Arizona men's basketball team will play host to Eastern Washington on Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. in the Rolle Activity Center. It will be the first game in the building named after the death of Joe Rolle, a charter member of the Athletics Hall of Fame, for whom the building was named in 1989.
"For this community and our institution, it will be a very significant night because Dean Rolle wore so many hats here at NAU," said Head Coach Mike Adras. "The building is named after him and I do not know how you cannot get caught up in the emotional aspect before the game. His presence will be felt."
There will be a moment of silence to remember Dean Rolle and the Lumberjacks student-athletes in both basketball programs will wear a patch honoring him for all remaining home games the rest of the season.
Senior guard Cameron Jones has received the Joe Rolle Most Valuable Player Award the last two seasons.
"To receive anything in his name is an honor," said Jones after practice on Monday. "We are playing in his gym and it is an honor to play here."
The Lumberjacks will also be playing for the honor to earn a berth in the Big Sky Conference Tournament and potentially host a postseason game. The top six teams make the Big Sky Tournament with quarterfinal games held on campus sites on March 5. The regular season champion hosts the semifinals and finals March 8-9.
The teams enter the contest battling for fourth place in the Big Sky Conference standings. NAU is 6-6 with Eastern Washington one game back at 5-7, while Montana State is two games back in the loss column at 5-8.
"In every game in every league, teams are playing for their postseason lives," said Adras. "This game is no exception for us, as has every game we have been playing lately. They beat us at their place and we would like to return the favor. There are a lot of implications for conference standings, seedings, etc., by the outcome of this game."
Wednesday's game can be heard on 105.1 FM The Big Talker or on the internet at www.bigtalkerradio.com. Fans across the country can also see the game on Fox Sports Arizona, Universityhouse (Dish Network 9411) and Fox College Sports Pacific (Direct TV 623) and online on Big Sky TV.
The first 50 people through the door will receive a ticket for the Grand Canyon Railway (a $75 value).