The UNO men’s basketball team’s time at the Lee and Helene Sapp Fieldhouse came to close Feb. 15 in a victory over the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Next season, the Mavericks will play in the new Ralston arena. (Click here to see a slideshow of the new arena under construction.) UNO brought back several former players and honored them during the game.
The first game at the fieldhouse was held Feb. 23, 1950, against crosstown rival Creighton. The Bluejays won 60-46. Creighton was a regular opponent for UNO (then known as Omaha University), and the Jays own the all-time series with 32-3.
One of the more memorable games for Omaha University came on Feb. 24, 1955. OU won 95-86 over a Creighton team that had future baseball hall of famer Bob Gibson.
According to Les Valentine, archivist at the Criss Library at UNO, Chancellor Milo Bail gave students the next day off to celebrate.
The UNO men’s team used the facility for 62 years and boasted a record crowd of 5,200 fans in 1979.
This year also marked a new beginning for UNO. While the Mavs are leaving Sapp Fieldhouse, they began the era of Division I play. UNO’s volleyball and the women’s basketball teams will still use the facility. Click here to see more photos of the fieldhouse and a look at former players honored during the final game.
The World-Herald library has many more historic photos. If you are interested in purchasing these or other photos, please visit the OWH Store.