One of the Shootout's founding fathers looks back with pride
In 1978, Alaska was bereft of broadcast sports.
"We had nothing of importance to the whole United States that was ever being televised from here," said Bob Vogt.
But when the NCAA wanted to expand the game of college basketball, the 49th State was the target -- and programs wanted in.
"Teams were falling all over each other to try and get here," said Vogt, the first chairman of the GCI Great Alaska Shootout, then known as the Seawolf Classic. "[the NCAA] made some special rules, the three games in Alaska only counted as one game."
It was a match that lasted 40 years. In recent times, though, those power programs stayed away for larger payouts in closer locales. Last weekend marked the final tournament. Although it's now history, Vogt looks on it with great admiration.
"I love basketball period," he said. "Then to have something like this happen, and be face-to-face with all the great coaches who have come up here over 40 years, unbelievable that would happen."
What a run. And what memories.
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