This Saturday, Marquette is holding its last game of the season at the Bradley Center against the Syracuse Orange.
The last home game for all teams is generally senior night, a time to honor those who stayed and gave sweat and blood to their respective universities and colleges for four or five years.
With the three great seniors Marquette has come to be known for, Wesley Matthews, Dominic James, and Jerel McNeal, and a senior starting forward who does the dirty work inside for the Golden Eagles, Dwight Burke, one would imagine that Marquette's 2009 senior night would be something special to behold.
Unfortunately, many students, myself included, will be unable to share the moment.
By a stroke of unlucky coincidence, Marquette's senior day also falls on the first day of the student body's spring break. So while Matthews, McNeal, James, and Burke play their final minutes on their home floor, too many people will be on planes, trains, cars, and ferries bound for Mexico, Chicago, Alabama, and Michigan to start their vacations.
As one who will be traveling on Saturday afternoon, I want to take this time to publicly share my appreciation for everything these four guys have done for the Marquette program.
Since the arrival of McNeal, James, Matthews, and Burke, the prestige of the Marquette program has climbed back to the levels of the 1970s, when Al McGuire coached his teams to NIT and NCAA Tournament championships.
The work all four have put into the program will pay dividends in terms of future recruiting, and everyone will remember the greatness of having three of the school's top five all-time scorers on the team at the same time.
I also want to wish all four of them the best of luck moving forward. Three have a chance of playing professionally somewhere. All four will leave with diplomas, however, so if basketball doesn't work out, they'll have something to fall back on.
It's been this way for all Marquette players (not named Dwyane Wade, who has done pretty well for himself) since the year 2000, which is another thing coaches and players should be proud of.
And to anyone reading who might be at the game Saturday afternoon: Applaud a little for me.
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