You wanted it.
On October 20, the University of Arkansas will unveil Nolan Richardson Court at Bud Walton Arena, helping to cap the legacy of the greatest basketball coach in Hogs basketball history. It’s going to happen at 3 pm, during the first exhibition game between the Hogs and the Trojans of Arkansas-Little Rock (now coached by Razorback legend Darrell Walker).
The two Division I programs received a waiver from the NCAA to play the exhibition game, which is the latest sign of the Razorbacks’ willingness to play in-state competition. Just a few months ago, it was announced that the Lady Razorbacks and Lady Trojans would play in December. All proceeds will go to charity benefiting Arkansans impacted by flooding this past spring.
For years, Razorback fans had conducted online polls, signed petitions and voiced their desire to see Nolan Richardson, the only Hogs coach to win a national championship in basketball, honored by a court renaming. Hunter Yurachek, who arrived in December 2017, listened to them.
This past spring, a resolution for the long-overdue renaming passed:
The actual court design hasn’t yet been unveiled. But there’s an early favorite.
Last week, before Hunter Yurachek turned off his social media because of the volcanic backlash from fans in the wake of the football team’s San Jose State loss, Yurachek polled fans on what they wanted to see on the design of the Nolan Richardson Court, he told the Little Rock Touchdown Club crowd on Monday. “Anybody want to take a guess at the number one thing I received?”
“The slobbering hog. It wasn’t Scotty Thurman who won a national championship, it was that slobbering hog,” he added, chuckling.
“It’s an exciting moment to be able to do that in honor of Nolan, and Coach Richardson’s really excited about it. Coach [Eric] Musselman’s done a great job of engaging coach. If he’s available, he’s going to come and be an honorary coach in the Red-White game on October 5th. He’s still very much a part of our program.”
Details about the attending the Nolan Richardson Court ceremony
The ceremony to unveil the new court design prior to the Razorbacks’ exhibition game with the Trojans with doors to Bud Walton opening at 1:30 pm.
The game itself is not part of the 2019-20 season ticket package. All tickets are $10, and seating will be on a first-come, first-served general admission basis excluding the suites, courtside seats and seats reserved by the athletics department. Those that have a suite or courtside seats may purchase those by contacting the Razorback Ticket Center.
Parking for the exhibition game is free and fans are encouraged to park in the following lots: 56 (Razorback Road); 46, 56B and 60 (Leroy Pond Road); 47N, 74A and 74B (Center Street); 55, 59 and Meadow Street Parking Garage (Meadow Street). ADA parking is available in Lot 56 with shuttle service to and from Bud Walton Arena.
Last March, the University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution to name the court at Bud Walton Arena for Hall of Fame coach Nolan Richardson. He was 389-169 in 17 seasons as Arkansas head coach and set a school record for wins and a .697 winning percentage. He led the Razorbacks to 13 NCAA Tournament appearances including six Sweet 16’s (1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996), four Elite Eights (1990, 1991, 1994, 1995), three Final Fours (1990, 1994, 1995) a national runner-up finish (1995) and the 1994 NCAA Championship.
In Richardson’s 22 combined years as a head coach at the collegiate level — at Western Texas Junior College, the University of Tulsa and the University of Arkansas — he compiled a record of 508-206 (.711) and became the only head coach in college basketball history to win a National Junior College Championship, NIT Championship and NCAA Championship.
I attended Richardson’s Naismith Hall of Fame induction in 2014 as the only Arkansas-based reporter there. We had a great interview that morning. Find more stories about Nolan and the those who came before him in my book about race relations, Razorbacks and Arkansas history:
NOTE: Arkansas will play its second exhibition game on Oct. 25 (Friday) versus Southwestern Oklahoma State at 7 pm.
Nolan Richardson Court Unveiling
Oct. 20, 2019 – 3 pm
Arkansas vs. Arkansas-Little Rock
Men’s Basketball Exhibition Game
Bud Walton Arena
- This exhibition game is not part of the 2019-20 season ticket package.
- All fans must purchase tickets through the Arkansas Razorback Ticket Center. All Tickets are $10, and the proceeds will benefit Arkansans impacted by flooding this past spring. For more information, contact the Razorback Ticket Center by email (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) or by calling toll free at 800-982-HOGS (4647) or locally at 479-575-5151.
- Seating: Seating will be determined on a first-come, first-served basis excluding the suites, courtside seats and selected reserved seats.
- Doors to Bud Walton Arena will open at 1:30 pm.
- Free parking is available in the following lots:
- 56 (Razorback Road).
- 46, 56B and 60 (Leroy Pond Road).
- 47N, 74A and 74B (Center Street).
- 55, 59 and Meadow Street Parking Garage (Meadow Street).
- ADA parking is available in Lot 56 with shuttle service to and from Bud Walton Arena.
Read my latest post on Razorback sports here: