by Gary W. Hall
WILSON, N.C. – Barton College has announced on March 24, 2017, ten years to the exact date that its men’s basketball team won the NCAA Division II national championship, that a Ten-Year Anniversary Celebration of that championship will be held on campus on Friday, October 27. Barton defeated Winona State University 77-75 on that March afternoon at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, Mass., to claim this title.
The banquet event will be part of Barton College’s 2017 Homecoming Weekend, and will also include Athletic Hall of Fame inductions, as are done each year at this same time. All members of the team traveling to Springfield for the Elite Eight Tournament will be recognized as part of the program. Anthony Atkinson and Alejo Barovero, seniors on the 2007 team, and Ron Lievense, the team’s head coach, will be inducted into the Barton College Athletic Hall of Fame as part of the festivities.
Atkinson, a native of Wilson and product of Greenfield School, scored ten points in the final 45 seconds of that championship game, including the final shot at the buzzer, to lead the Bulldogs to their improbable triumph. He has been a member of the Harlem Globetrotters since he completed his eligibility at Barton.
Barovero, who has played professional basketball in his native Argentina, averaged 15.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game for the 2007 team. In the 2006 season he was also the MVP of the Division II East Regional, hosted and won by Barton. That championship earned the Bulldogs the right to play in their first-ever Elite Eight National Championship Tournament.
Lievense has coached Barton for 21 seasons and was the NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year in 2007. His teams have won six regular-season Conference Carolinas championships and four league tournament titles.
This event will begin at 7:30 p.m. at a site on campus to be announced. Tickets must be purchased in advance to attend. Barton will announce details for the purchase of tickets in the near future.