The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Bill Bowman

January 2, 2012

Former Bison returns home

Bill Courtney spent four of the best years of his life at Bucknell, making his mark in the classroom and on the basketball court, while soaking up enough knowledge from his old coach, Charlie Woollum, to become a pretty darn good coach himself.

And while he had many fond memories when he returned home on Saturday, the Bucknell Hall of Famer wanted nothing more than to make things miserable for the Bison faithful who pulled so hard for him two decades ago.

Now in his second season as the head coach at Cornell, Courtney and the Big Red did make life unpleasant at times for his alma mater, but the Bison found a way to win down the stretch to spoil Courtney's homecoming.

"When you get back on a campus where you spent four years and had some of the times of your life, that part of it was special," said Courtney, a 1992 Bucknell grad who was inducted in the university's Hall of Fame in 2007. "But once that ball goes up, you're not thinking about that. You're competitive and you want to win the game.

"Once the whistle starts, all you're thinking about is the game and trying to get the win."

The Big Red, despite not winning a game on the road so far this year, nearly pulled off a victory in a gym where the Bison have lost just twice in the last two years. Cornell lost 63-60 but had a pair of looks at a game-tying 3 in the final 10 seconds.

Courtney was introduced to an ovation before tip, and there is no question it was well-deserved. While many of today's players may not know what Courtney did, they might want to stop and look at the plaque that leads from their lockerroom to the Sojka Pavilion court.

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Bill Bowman
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