February 18, 2014

The 20th Annual Hoops Homecoming event will take place at Northeastern Junior College this Saturday, February 22. The college’s alumni association invites everyone to come back to  campus and enjoy a day in Sterling. Advertisements for this year’s event have gone out far and wide.

While the evening ballgames—this year against huge rival Western Nebraska Community College--are the largest events to take place, there are several other offerings available. At 9 a.m., the college rodeo team hosts an open jackpot rodeo at the Logan County Fairgrounds. The day begins with exhibition barrel racing, followed by competitive barrel racing, calf roping, break away roping, goat tying and team roping, in this order, throughout the day. Activities will be held in the indoor arena and admission is free.  At 12 noon, the Northeastern Plainsman baseball team takes on Western Nebraska Cougars of Scottsbluff at Plainsman Park, located on Pioneer Road at the north campus site.

A special, by invitation only luncheon will honor the 2014 alumni award winners at the Plainsman Grill at Northeastern 18 golf course. Those being honored this year include: Russ and Cindy Johnson, Don and Peggy Brown, Jerome Davis, Don Fender, Gary Harms, B.J. Langdon, Chuck Podraza, Darrel Parker and Jolene Rinaldo.

At 2:30 in the afternoon, the Heritage Center will be open for viewing in the Hays Student Center on the second floor.  The NJC Bookstore will also be open from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The games will begin at 4 p.m. when the Plainswomen take on Western Nebraska. The men will follow with a game at 6 p.m. The 2014 alumni award winners will be introduced at center court during half time of the men’s game. Two special awards will be presented from the athletic department including the Andi Whitlock Heart Award presented during half time of the women’s game. It will be given to one or more of the current women’s basketball sophomore team members and the Lowell Roumph Annual Sportsmanship Award which goes to a community member who has shown exceptional support to the athletics at Northeastern will be awarded during the men’s game.  It is also the last home game on the year and so Sophomore Night activities for the men and women’s players will also be happening at the start of the game. A full night of fun is planned at Northeastern. The NJC men’s team was recently ranked 5th in the nation in the NJCAA standings. NJC’s men are currently sitting in the top spot to win the bid to host the 2014 Region IX NJCAA Tournament which would take place March 1-5th. 

Alumni may enter the door prize drawings and may participate in the nice reception that is always held during Hoops Homecoming up in the balcony area of the event center. The Hoops Homecoming events are open to everyone, with the exception of the awards luncheon. Card carrying members of Alumni Association are admitted free to the ballgames. Other adults pay $6 at the door while senior citizens and non-NJC students pay $5. The Associated Student Government will be handing out Plainsman Pete rally towels to the first several hundred in the door that evening.