Mark Acres part of honors ceremony
Oral Roberts University basketball hosted a couple of big nights last week honoring several of the schools former athletes.
Former basketball star Mark Acres had his uniform number retired during halftime of Thursday night’s game against Lamar, while Ryan Neill (baseball), Elisha Turek (women’s basketball), and Dena Dial (track & field) were inducted to the school’s athletic Hall of Fame, during Saturday’s game against McNeese State.
Acres played at ORU from 1981-85. He was an All-American who led the ORU men’s basketball team to the NCAA Tournament in 1984, and that same year was also selected Midwestern City Conference player of the year.
He was drafted in the second round (40th overall) of the 1985 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks and spent eight years in the NBA. Acres is one of just seven players in ORU history to score at least 2,000 career points and ranks in the top 10 in 10 different career statistical categories, including points, rebounds and blocks. He remains the only player to have led the team in scoring and rebounding in all four seasons.
In the NBA, Acres played with Boston, Orlando, Houston and Washington (1987-93), and spent three seasons playing in Europe.
Acres’ number 42 now hangs from the Mabee Center rafters along with the numbers of Richard Fuqua, Anthony Roberts, and former women’s basketball star Krista Ragan-Binam.
ORU HALL OF FAME
Ryan Neill was a member of the ORU baseball team from 1997-2000 and he currently serves as an assistant coach with the team. He was a 1999 third-team All-American after hitting .423 with 17 home runs and 71 RBIs. Twice he earned first team all-conference honors and was the 1999 Mid-Con Tournament MVP.
He is the ORU career home run (48) and RBI (199) leader. Neill helped lead ORU to three Mid-Con Championships and three NCAA Regional appearances, kick-starting the string of 15-straight championships and regional appearances that continued in 2012. In all, Neill has been a player or coach for 10 of those 15 consecutive championships.
Elisha Turek played from 2003-07, and left as one of the most decorated women’s basketball players in school history. She was named conference newcomer of the year in 2003-04 and went on to earn first-team all-conference honors all four years and was the league’s player of the year in 2006-07.
Turek is one of only four people in ORU history to score more than 2,000 career points, and holds the record with 1,167 career rebounds. Her 12 conference player of the week honors is the most by any player in Mid-Con/Summit League history.
Dial attended ORU from 1997-2000, and earned All-American honors in the pole vault during both the indoor and outdoor seasons of her senior year. She was a four-time conference champion and a five-time all-conference selection, earning league athlete of the week honors twice.
ORU MEN IN FIRST
With the Golden Eagles 75-54 win over McNeese State, Saturday night, ORU has moved into a tie for first place with Stephen F. Austin, in the Southland Conference standings.
ORU, with a record of 12-8 overall and 7-1 in the conference, will host Nicholls State, Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Mabee Center. The women’s teams will square off beginning at 5:00 p.m.
[Jeff Brucculeri is the author of several books, including "Powerful People Are Inspired by Powerful Athletes," available at www.tunedintosuccess.com. Contact; firstname.lastname@example.org.]