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Coach Kampe inducted to Michigan’s sports hall of fame

This+season%2C+Kampe+will+be+entering+his+34th+year+with+Oakland%27s+men%27s+basketball+team.+
This season, Kampe will be entering his 34th year with Oakland's men's basketball team.

This season, Kampe will be entering his 34th year with Oakland's men's basketball team.

This season, Kampe will be entering his 34th year with Oakland's men's basketball team.

Skylar Tolfree, Sports Editor

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In recent weeks, Oakland University’s men’s basketball head coach Greg Kampe was elected to the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. He will be Oakland’s second member in the Hall of Fame, the first being swimming and diving head coach Pete Hovland, who was inducted in 2016.

This year’s class also includes Mitch Albom, Jon Jansen, Jim Leyland, Dean Look, Andre Rison, Dennis Rodman and Jalen Rose. They will be inducted at a ceremony held in the Max M. Fisher Music Theatre on Friday, Sept. 15.

Kampe has been with the men’s basketball team for 33 years and shows no signs of slowing down or stepping back. With three of his players moving on to the NBA and him leading a record-setting team, Kampe is a force to be reckoned with. Though the team’s roster changes every year, he is the constant presence for the team and fans.

During his career at Oakland, Kampe has helped lead the men’s basketball team to six championships in the past 14 years. He also was involved in helping to get the men’s team from division two to division one.

He is known by fans as the hardcore coach who spends every game on his feet, directing his team in his trademark shouting and over-the-top hand motions. But to the team, he is known as the teacher and mentor who helps make them the players they are.

When the news broke that Kampe had been elected to the hall of fame, Oakland forward Jalen Hayes reached out to Kampe to congratulate him. As a player who started every game last season, he has experienced first-hand what working hard with Kampe can do to a player’s game.

“34 years is a while,” Hayes said. “I’ve been lucky to be a part of that for the past four or five years.”

Kendrick Nunn, a senior guard on the team, is also proud of his coach in this accomplishment, saying he values the time he has spent learning from Kampe.

“This is an amazing opportunity, it’s once in a lifetime,” he said. “It speaks a lot about him as a person. To be coached by him is an amazing opportunity.”

Kampe has been humble in the time after the announcement. Between disbelief and shock, he commented to press in a video posted by the Detroit Free Press, “I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me step back and say ‘oh my god.’ Yeah, I’m very lucky.”

Senior guard  Martez Walker said, the accomplishment marks a milestone for not only Kampe, but Oakland as well.

“This is something special for him, and our team,” he said.

In his character, Kampe spent the days after the announcement volunteering in his Coaches Beat Cancer event. This year’s event raised around $180,000 for the American Cancer Society. Kampe organized the event and he, as well as 11 of his coaching peers, including Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, spent the day with cancer patients at Beaumont Hospital.

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