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NMSU African American Alumni Association will honor 1970 NCAA Final Four Team

To recognize the accomplishments of the 1970 Aggies Basketball Team, the New Mexico State University's chapter of the African American Alumni Association will hold a tribute gala with an official NCAA Final Four ring ceremony from 7-10 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at the Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces.

The ceremony will include keynote speaker Phil Chenier, 1978 NBA Champion with the Washington Bullets and NBA sportscaster. Other special guests will include NFL Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell and "Tommy" Ford of The Martin Show.

"The 1970 Aggie's team was arguably the best team in the country and the university's greatest team ever," Chenier said. "I am proud to be a part of this historic occasion to honor the monumental achievements of this legendary powerhouse."

Some of the team's most talented players, including All-conference, All-American Jimmy Collins, Charlie Criss and Sam Lacey will be honored for their vast contributions. Also as part of the night's festivities, the 1970's Aggies will pay special tribute to their coach, Lou Henson, for his boundless dedication and commitment to NMSU Basketball.

All of the players and coaching staff from the 1970 team will be in Las Cruces for the ceremony and will receive a final four ring presented by former NMSU Coach Rob Evans.

"This event and the presentation of rings to the coaches, players and other administrators is something that my wife and I have been discussing for 20 years," Evans said. "With the help and support of friends, we are extremely excited to finally be able to do it. These are guys that I not only played with, but coached as well."

"The African American Alumni Association (AAAA) of NMSU is delighted to have the opportunity to say 'thank you' to a team that helped provide NMSU with national recognition," said Joseph Johnson, founder of the AAAA. "NMSU offers an educational and learning environment that embodies diversity, cultural understanding and acceptance. It is not about what you bring to NMSU, but what you take away and share with others that is truly the hallmark of this university, and that is why this event is so special and significant to our organization."

For more information and tickets for the ceremony, contact Nora Ramzy at (214) 529-5110 or nramzy@sbcglobal.net.