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A Special Salute to Coach Slay

by Melissa Brunner

He's run up and down the court countless times, he's sat beside it thousands of hours and goodness knows he's stomped his foot on it a time or two! So it's only fitting that the basketball court in Emporia's White Auditorium now bears Coach Ron Slaymaker's name.

The court was officially dedicated to the longtime Emporia State University men's basketball coach Thursday night. Coach Slay retired after the 1997-1998 season. I got to know him that year because he allowed me, then a pretty green reporter, to chronicle his final season. The result was a half-hour special titled, "Ron Slaymaker: The Final Tipoff." I dug into the archives to find it for you because it shows the type of coach - and, more importantly, the type of person - he was and is. He never fails to greet me with a smile and hug and I don't see him nearly enough!

Thursday night had perhaps the perfect ending that our special did not. Coach Slay's final game was versus Washburn University and a valiant upset bid came up short. Not so Thursday night. The Coach Slay Court dedication at halftime was followed up with a comeback and upset worthy of Coach Slay's dedication and character.

Congrats, Coach! Truly an honor well deserved.

And now.... enjoy this blast from the past!

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