Basketball pays respect to Regents

Hard to believe isn’t it?

The one place where both of Northern Kentucky University’s basketball teams called home is now in the rearview mirror.

That’s not to say it will be forgotten. It’s hard to believe, but it was nearly four decades ago when the NKU men’s team first laced up their Converses and threw on what would now be considered socially unacceptable short-shorts at Regents Hall.

But I digress.

NKU will now move into the high-tech, 9,400-seat arena where we will no longer have to cross the Ohio River for graduation.

Although the Bank of Kentucky Center will more likely resemble Rupp Arena than the homey confines of Regents Hall, it’s safe to say that this campus has the nicest, most up-to-date facilities in the Commonwealth.

And, possibly more importantly, both teams won their final home games. You can’t possibly say good-bye to a place you’ve called home for nearly 40 years with a loss, can you?

On the men’s side, an unlikely hero stepped in on his senior day and made a lasting impression for years to come. In fact, he was darn close to perfection.

Not too many people can say that they scored 19 points in only 17 minutes on an emotional Senior Day.

Senior Rasso, a 6-8 center from Boone Co. High School, was 7-for-8 from the floor and 5-for-6 at the free-throw line. Not bad at all for a guy making only his third start this year.

To be fair, although it has been in limited action, Rasso has been excellent around the goal, shooting nearly 70 percent, and along with Dennis Gagai, have provided an enormous amount of help off the bench.

The women’s game, which strayed far from the norm of what we see today, said good-bye to seniors Nichole Chiodi and Angela Healy, who for my money, are the team’s co-MVPs.

A nearly half-hour delay caused by an electrical malfunction didn’t stop the Norse from fighting back from a 10-point deficit early in the second half.

A Feb. 19 loss to Bellarmine and a defeat by Kentucky Wesleyan Feb.21, shouldn’t deter anyone from the successes they’ve had. NKU is now in a three-way tie for first in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

With about two weeks left, the Norse are in good shape for a first round bye in the conference tournament, if they can pull out wins at Wisconsin-Parkside, Feb. 28 and at Lewis, March 1.

Chiodi didn’t leave the floor, and fittingly, grabbed the final rebound as time expired.

And with that final buzzer, NKU says good-bye to the glue that has held the team together the last two years.

Goodbye to Regents Hall and hello to the new Bank of Kentucky Center.