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Sunday , November 18 2018
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Sun Bowl Association Announces WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational Line Up

On Wednesday, the Sun Bowl Association and WestStar Bank announced the match-ups for the 57th Annual WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational.

The four-team tournament includes two top-100 (RPI) teams and a former UTEP-conference rival from the Western Athletic Conference. Wyoming returns to El Paso for the holiday tournament and joins East Tennessee State, Norfolk State and home team, UTEP on the hardwood.

“We appreciate all the hard work that the Sun Bowl committee puts into hosting this tournament and finding quality opponents to compete in it year in and year out,” said UTEP Head Coach Rodney Terry.

East Tennessee State, who is making its first appearance in the oldest collegiate holiday basketball tournament in the nation, will open against Wyoming at 5 p.m. (MST) in the Don Haskins Center.  Wyoming is making its second appearance in the tournament. The first time the Cowboys played in the WestStar Bank Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational was in 2007, going 1-1 that year.

UTEP will open the tournament against Norfolk State, which is making its third appearance in the Invitational after making it to the championship game in 2015.

The Miners have played in every tournament since it began in 1961.

In 2009, the tournament was renamed to honor former UTEP head coach and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Don Haskins. “The Bear” coached at UTEP from 1961 to 1999, winning 719 games and making 14 postseason appearances. Haskins famously led the Miners to victory in the 1966 National Championship game over Adolph Rupp and the heavily favored Kentucky Wildcats.

Officials added, “The Sun Bowl Association would like to thank WestStar Bank for supporting the nation’s oldest holiday basketball tournament as it has been the title sponsor for 10 consecutive years.”

The tournament will be held in the Don Haskins Center, Friday and Saturday, December 21-22.

Friday, Dec. 21, 2018

5 p.m. (MST) – East Tennessee State vs. Wyoming

7 p.m. (MST) – Norfolk State vs. UTEP

Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018

5 p.m. (MST) – Consolation Game

7 p.m. (MST) – Championship Game

Mining Minds Sculpture Lit for Track Champion and Historic Basketball Win

The “Mining Minds” pickaxe sculpture at UTEP’s University Avenue roundabout will be illuminated in blue and orange Friday evening, March 17, 2017 and Sunday, March 19, to celebrate current and historic UTEP national championships.

Friday’s lighting will honor Emmanuel Korir, a track and field athlete who earned the NCAA track and field indoor title in the 800-meter run on March 11. He crossed the finish line first with a time of 1:47.48. The freshman became the 40th national champion for the UTEP track and field program.

On Sunday, the special lighting will recognize the 51st anniversary of the UTEP men’s basketball NCAA championship victory on March 19, 1966. On that historic day, the Texas Western (now UTEP) Miners beat top-ranked Kentucky 72-65 in the title game — a game that forever changed college athletics.

Legendary Coach Don Haskins made history by staring five African-American players, the first time that had been done in an NCAA basketball championship game. After the 1966 championship, college teams throughout the South began aggressively recruiting African-American athletes, ending years of segregation.

“Mining Minds” is an iconic piece of public art installed in 2010 to enhance the UTEP campus. At night, orange lights illuminate the steel structure while light from LEDs emanate from the perforated “ones” and “zeroes” at each end of the pick.

On special occasions, including historic dates, major annual milestones and to celebrate special accomplishments, the pick is illuminated in blue and orange. Learn more about the statue and its artist at miningminds.utep.edu.