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Basketball: UL goes back to its start

Basketball: UL goes back to its start

Basketball: UL goes back to its start

Back to Blackham, 1950-1985, 2005
Bruce Brown

Not long after Blackham Coliseum opened in 1950, opposing basketball coaches came to view a game against the University of Louisiana as their most challenging road trip of the season.
Even lofty Marquette, one of the most storied programs in the country, found the facility to be claustrophobic and menacing, losing at Blackham one year before the Cajuns left to move into the Cajundome to begin the 1985-86 season.

The 2005-06 Cajuns will host Charlotte on Saturday night in Blackham as repairs continue on the hurricane-damaged Cajundome. It will be the first game that counts in the old facility since 1985.

Beryl Shipley, who coached at UL from 1957 to 1973, remembers those Blackham days well.
"We were getting tremendous community support, and the student body in those days was tremendous," he said.

The crowds even made it to the games before the team, former player Dwight "Bo" Lamar said.

"It was just crazy fun for us and terrible for the visiting team," Lamar said.

The Cajuns will play three more games in Blackham before returning to the Dome on Jan. 12.

Originally published December 2, 2005