The “University of Champions” will honor the team that helped Howard Payne University coin that phrase during Saturday’s homecoming festivities.
The members of the 2007-08 Lady Jackets basketball team - the reigning NCAA Division III national champions - will reunite to receive their national championship rings in a noon ceremony at Old Main Tower on the HPU campus.
All returning members of last year’s national championship squad, former players Meia Daniels, Kim Hoffman, Stacey Blalock and Daphnie Pippins and ex-head coach Chris Kielsmeier are all scheduled to be in attendance for the event. Kielsmeier and Daniels also are expected to address the gathering.
Dallas Huston, the radio voice of Howard Payne athletics, will serve as the emcee and HPU president Dr. Lanny Hall will present the Lady Jackets with their rings. The Lady Jackets also will receive conference championship rings and national championship necklaces, but that will not be included in the ceremony.
Also on Saturday, the Lady Jackets will serve as the grand marshals of the HPU homecoming parade, which will begin at 10 a.m. and zig-zag through downtown Brownwood.
The Lady Jackets posted a perfect 33-0 record and defeated Messiah, 68-54, at Hope College in Holland, Mich. on March 22 to earn the university’s first NCAA national championship in its first Final Four appearance.