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February 21, 2023

For '73 Team, a Reunion 50 Years in the Making

The 1972-73 Guilford College men's basketball team returned to the College last week for a reunion and celebration off the 50th anniversary of winning the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics title.

When they first saw each other Friday afternoon, M.L. Carr ’73 and Ray Massengill ’75, stopped mid-step and smiled. “Raymond, get over here!” said M.L., smiling.

Ray was already on his way and the two men hugged the way old teammates – but, really old friends -- do, which is to say long and hard.

“Man, how you doing?” asked Ray. “I’ve missed you.” And the two hugged some more.

It was a weekend of hugs, handshakes and smiles as Guilford College celebrated the 1972-73 men’s basketball team that won the National Intercollegiate Athletic Association title, the first national championship the College ever won.

All the surviving players – M.L., Ray, Teddy East ’73, World B. Free ’76, Steve Hankins ’75, Robert Kent ’76, Johnny Ralls ’76, Robert Fulton ’74, and Greg Speas ’76 – along with student manager Niel Welborn ’75 and student trainer Ken Bunker ’75 returned for the reunion. Even 85-year-old assistant coach Buzz Dunning, who lives three blocks from the College, showed up.

Checkout a slideshow from the 1973 men's basketball reunion.

In commemoration of their accomplishment, the ‘73 team was honored with a reception and dinner Friday on campus. On Saturday they met with President Kyle Farmbry for brunch before heading over to Ragan-Brown Field House where they were honored at halftime of the men’s basketball’s regular-season finale against

Randolph-Macon College. Players walked onto Jack Jensen Court in matching t-shirts, waving to the crowd, a mix of current students who were just learning their story and old classmates who smiled and waved back.

“I think all of us are aware of where we are in life,” says M.L. “We’re very much aware we’re late in the fourth quarter. That’s what makes getting back together again so special.”