After seasons that captured headlines and hearts of sports fans across the country, the Kent State University men's and women's basketball teams are being honored by a parade.
The parade will be held at 2 p.m. April 13. It will begin in front of KSU's education building on East Main Street and continue west to downtown Kent, where a ceremony will be held.
The parade originally was set for April 6, but was rescheduled because it conflicted with the NBA combine, which involves several KSU players.
Kent Mayor John Fender said speakers at the ceremony will include KSU President Carol Cartwright, KSU Athletic Director Laing Kennedy, captains of the men's and women's basketball team, Brian Bialik of the Kent Area Chamber of Commerce, women's basketball coach Bob Lindsay, a member of the men's basketball coaching staff, and himself.
The team will be driven through the parade route in convertibles owned by local residents, and the bands, dance teams and cheerleaders at Theodore Roosevelt High School and KSU will be asked to participate.
"The city is extremely proud of what both teams have done," Fender said. He noted that the men's team started with a 4-4 record and ended up with a record of 30 wins and six losses. The women's team at one time had only seven members, and overcame that to claim the Mid-American Conference championship.
"And how many times do you get Drew Carey to come to Kent?" he said.
Carey was at Ray's Place in Kent when the men's team lost to Indiana in the "Elite Eight" round of the NCAA Tournament.
Kennedy said he believed the parade was a great idea and recalled the "wonderful Saturday" when the men's and women's teams both won the MAC tournament on the same day.
"That has never happened before in the history of the MAC," he said. "We were one of only 18 schools in the country to have the men and women both in the NCAA tournament. And to have the men's team advance to the 'Elite Eight,' it was a terrific accomplishment."
He said the accomplishments of both teams brought national recognition to KSU.
"It's an opportunity for this university and the Kent community to come out and say thank you," he said.
In the event of inclement weather, a rally will be held in a location to be announced.
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