JOIN IN: What’s your favorite OU basketball memory?

OU journalism director Garry Gilbert has followed OU men’s basketball since the early 1980s. He recalls taking his toddler Jackson, now an OU freshman, to a Pioneers game in Lepley Arena in 1995 that drew about 250 people. He and Jackson also attended games 14 years ago inside the inflated white bubble that served as the team’s home court while Lepley was rebuilt..

Following Reggie Hamilton’s emotional and exhausting 35-point performance in Monday night’s OU victory over Tennessee, Gilbert began compiling a list of the top individual Grizzlies performances he’s witnessed in major games since the O’rena opened:

1. Calvin Wooten’s 40 points to help OU beat arch-rival Valparaiso for the first time Jan. 26, 2006. Attendance was only 2,800 but the atmosphere was electric. Ask Jean Ann Miller. She was there.

2. Jason Rozycki scored 32 points to lead OU past a discombobulated Michigan team Nov. 1,  2000. Rozycki canned six three-pointers and 12 of 13 free throws. Gilbert says he still has a commemorative T-shirt from that game. It’s a bit discolored now, but a treasure.

3. Hamilton’s 35 Monday night. Hamilton hit a dagger three-pointer with under 8 minutes to play after Tennessee had whacked OU’s lead to three.  Then Reggie made 10 clutch free throws in a row in the closing minutes as the crowd of 3,700 stood as one.

4. Erik Kangas sank eight three-pointers on 11 shots and scored 33 points Jan. 22, 2009, against Summit League rival IUPUI. This was the middle game of a three-game stretch in which a silky-smooth Kangas erupted for 99 points.

5. Kito Benson netted 24 points, 18 rebounds, and seven blocked shots in thoroughly dominating Central Arkansas Nov. 28, 2009.

Garry adds that Mike Helms scored 45 points in the O’rena in an overtime victory against Western Michigan in December 2001, but alas, he did not attend the game.

What are your best O’rena memories since OU went Division I? Johnathon Jones? Rawle Marshall? Brad Buddenborg? Derick Nelson? Dan Champagne? Mychal Covington?

Participate in the conversation by leaving a comment below or email us your nostalgic moments at [email protected]