The final Evansville Aces home game took place this Saturday afternoon at Ford Center. The Aces needed a win to gain some momentum before the Missouri Valley Conference.
This may be the last time fans dressed in purple and orange get to watch the Purple Aces at home.
“This goes way back to when they were Division II and champions, so it has quite a history in the city of Evansville,” Bill Leishman said.
Saturday was the last home game of the regular season. Almost every seat at Ford Center was full. Fans were excited for the Aces to take on Northern Iowa
“It’s the last time for a lot of these players in this wonderful new stadium,” John Bassemier said. “This is a monumental, historical occasion for the Evansville sports world.”
Before today’s game, the Aces had 23 wins. They’re a program that have overcome hard loses and heartbreak.
“I was around unfortunately when we lost all the Aces and it has been a long time to recover and to get national status again,” Bassemier said. “I mean, we are back in the game.”
During the regular season, the team developed a “Free Throws for Families” campaign, benefiting the Ronald McDonald House charity. McDonald’s and the Aces gave $5 for every free throw the Aces made. This year that was 605 free throws. A check for $3,025 is going back to the Ronald McDonald house and families battling cancer.
“It takes one of our premiere plays in basketball the free throw,” Evansville Aces Director of Revenue Development John Rodgers said. “It gives it meaning and gives it a sense of vitality and importance.”
These Aces are the heart beat of the River City.
“There’s a lot of school spirit in this community and they definitely have a lot of faith in them and they should,” Aces Cheerleader Paige Durphey said. “They’re having a great year and we are excited,”
This year’s team, with their record breaking senior, won’t soon be forgotten.