The San Francisco Dons have been a huge part of the history of college basketball. Many of the game’s great players played for the Dons, including Bill Russell, who went on to win 11 NBA Championships as a center for the Boston Celtics in the 1960s.
The Dons have been to the NCAA Tournament 15 times in school history, the most recent in 1998. They have been to the Sweet Sixteen 11 times, the Elite Eight seven times, the Final Four three times (1955, 1956 and 1957) and have won the NCAA Tournament twice (1955 and 1956). The Dons beat LaSalle in the National Championship game in 1955 77-63 and Iowa in the 1956 National Championship game 83-71.
The Dons have been to the NIT six times, including 1949 when they won the tournament by beating Loyola Chicago in the championship game.
Besides Russell, some of the other great players to play for the Dons include Bill Cartwright, Quinton Dailey, K. C. Jones, Kevin Restani, Joe Ellis, Mike Farmer, James Hardy and many more.
The Dons play their home games at the War Memorial Gym, which opened in 1958 and seats 5300 fans. When you walk into the Gym, you will be immersed in college basketball history. Trophies, plaques and busts line the concourse level as you make your way inside. The retired jerseys and championship banners hang in the rafters as you step inside as well. You know you are in a place of college basketball greatness.
Even though the greatness is in the past, it is still awesome to think you are in the “House That Bill Russell Built” even though it opened the year after he graduated. Cartwright, Phil Smith and Dailey did play in the War Memorial Gym, so it has seen its share of greatness.
You will have a great seat while you enjoy your favorite concession items such as popcorn, peanuts, nachos, pizza and more watching a great college basketball game. Can the Dons get back to past glory? Come out this season to War Memorial Gym and find out.
The Dons play in the West Coast Conference, which has some of college basketball’s best teams. BYU, Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount, Pacific, Pepperdine, Portland, St. Mary’s, San Diego, and Santa Clara will all be coming in to play the Dons. Many of today’s NBA stars such as Matthew Dellavedova, Kelly Olynyk, Patty Mills and retired stars such as John Stockton and Steve Nash played in the WCC and visited the Dons. Is the next NBA star coming in this season?
You will not want to miss out on any of the great games this season as these teams fight to advance to the NCAA Tournament. If recent history is any indication, many will not only get in, but do some damage once they make it in. Will the Dons be one of them? Come out to War Memorial Gym this season and root them on.
image courtesy of usfca.edu