This Saturday, four Bearkats will play their last game at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum for the regular season conference title. While it won’t be the last time these four seniors bare the colors of Sam Houston State University because of the Southland Conference tournament next week, it will be their last time among the raucous Bearkat Crazies in the friendly confines of Johnson.
Over the past few years, Ryan Griffin, C.J. Hadley, Jejuan Plair and Aaron Wade have given plenty to cheer for in their time here at Sam. Whether the result was jubilation of victory or agony in defeat, these four have provided memories that will last.
For most of his career at Sam Houston, Griffin was the role player. Griffin would come in when the starters needed to rest or were in foul trouble. Griffin brought a certain toughness to the floor. In a game late last season, Griffin had his nose broken. The very next game, Griffin was back in with a clear mask going in hard for rebounds.
Hadley was the type of player that the Bearkats could depend on in a tough spot. When Texas State came into Johnson Coliseum, the Kats started off not shooting particularly well. Hadley decided that he needed to step up to keep Sam Houston in the game; he exploded for 16 first-half points providing just enough momentum to last into the half.
This is only Plair’s second year at Sam Houston, yet he has contributed a great deal to the success of the Bearkats. If nothing else, Plair has provided consistency for Sam Houston. In Plair’s 59 career games at Sam Houston, he has a shooting percentage of 40 percent and 689 points.
Against SFA on Valentine’s Day, Plair was going up for a layup when he was slammed into the wall, banging his head with a loud thud. After a quick rest, he was back on the floor leading the Bearkats to victory once again.
This was a different type of year for Wade. A knee injury to John Gardiner forced Wade from forward to center. The result has been a breakout season for Wade. He has 340 points on the season scoring 12.1 per game, which is twice his amount last year.
Griffin, Hadley, Plair and Wade put their bodies on the line every night for the success of Sam Houston. This Saturday, Senior Night, let’s give them the honor they richly deserve. Let’s show them our appreciation for this, their last time playing at Johnson Coliseum.