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Basketball - Men's College

Ducks, Phil Knight open Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene

    Phil Knight grabbed the microphone, stood on the midcourt “O’’ and waited out a standing “O’’ that lasted nearly a minute. The Nike chairman and proud father then spoke to the 12,364 gathered for opening night at Matthew Knight Arena.

    “There’s emotion that went into this building,’’ Knight said, “and I hope it carries forward.’’

    There was emotion in this building Thursday night – also fireworks, breakdancers, free T-shirts for all, a Duck dropping from the rafters to the arena’s signature tree-lined court. It was indeed a grand opening.

    But for all the pomp and bright lights and high volume, the stars of the evening were Knight himself and the unusual court.

    Knight, who lost his son Matthew in a scuba diving accident in 2004 at age 34, is normally reticent to speak in public, but on Thursday night, he strolled among the court’s painted trees, thanking those responsible for the $227 million project.

    — Excerpt from, January 13, 2011


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