Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

UE Aces Made Roberts Rafters Ring ; 'Trophies and Tears' Looks at Orange-Clad Purple Aces, Devotion of Their Red-Shirted Fans

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

UE Aces Made Roberts Rafters Ring ; 'Trophies and Tears' Looks at Orange-Clad Purple Aces, Devotion of Their Red-Shirted Fans

Article excerpt

New Jersey native Kyle Keiderling, a Rutgers University graduate and longtime follower of the Big East Conference, repeatedly heard a question while writing his latest college basketball book. Why is it about the University of Evansville?

"They assumed I was doing it because the team had suffered a catastrophic incident with the plane crash," Keiderling said. "Honestly, although I'm old enough to remember it, it was not in my mind."

While researching for a book about Hank Gathers, a Loyola Marymount player who died on the court in 1990, Keiderling came across lofty crowd numbers at Roberts Stadium.

"I'm thinking, 'This doesn't make any sense,'" he said. "It was in those days a College Division school, which is now Division II, and they're setting all the attendance records for small colleges. I thought, 'Something must have been going on in Evansville.'"

That something eventually turned into 450-plus pages of Aces basketball history in his book, "Trophies and Tears," which comes out this month. The book covers Evansville basketball from its start to the current day, including a season-by-season look at coach Arad McCutchan's teams that won five College Division national titles before the Dec. 13, 1977, plane crash.

Pre-orders are on sale at trophiesandtearsbook.com, and Keiderling will be at the Ford Center for Evansville's Wednesday game promoting the book. The book ships and will be sold locally starting in mid-December.

"I've heard nothing but terrific things about it, and I'm excited to read it myself," said current UE coach and former player Marty Simmons, who wrote the book's foreword. …

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