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February 28, 2000

ULM dedicates Fant-Ewing Coliseum

Lenny Fant guided his Northeast Louisiana University basketball teams to 326 wins and 18 consecutive winning seasons during his 21 years as head coach. Saturday, the late coach was honored as the University of Louisiana at Monroe officially changed the name of its basketball arena, Ewing Coliseum, to Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

Fant, a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame and the ULM Hall of Fame, passed away in October, 1998, after an 18-month battle with cancer. However, he left a lasting mark on the Indian basketball program and the University.

"We honor the memory of Coach Lenny Fant who established a legacy of winning basketball that continues to this day," ULM President Lawson L. Swearingen, Jr., said during ceremonies honoring Fant. "He truly cared about people and touched the lives of countless individuals. In so doing, he contributed immeasurably to ULM and this entire community."

Fant was not the only person singled out during the celebration at halftime of Saturday's 81-75 ULM victory over Stephen F. Austin. Former University President George T. Walker drew praise from the current ULM President.

"Dr. Walker was the one primarily responsible for obtaining construction funds to build the coliseum at a time when it was extremely difficult to do so," Swearingen said.

Wilson Ewing, the other man for whom the facility is named, was also remembered by Swearingen.

"Wilson Ewing played a lead role in supporting legislation enabling our institution to move to four-year status," Swearingen said. "He was the General Manager of the Monroe Morning World/News Star at the time and lobbied successfully in Baton Rouge on behalf of our University regarding many important issues."

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