As basketball coach at Tulsa, Doug Wojcik only can dream of discovering a late-blooming recruit like David Robinson.
Wojcik was the point guard at Navy when Robinson carried the Midshipmen to the Elite Eight and a 30-5 record in 1985-86.
"He was Halley's Comet," Wojcik said. "When I first saw him, he was this long 6-8, 195-pound guy, a good athlete but nothing exceptional as a basketball player. Then he grew and it all came together -- phenomenal hands, great quickness, great talent."
When Navy plays Bucknell on Saturday, it will honor the Elite Eight squad. The 7-foot-1 Robinson, 45, who has kept a low profile in San Antonio since his retirement in 2003, is expected to play in the alumni game at 4 p.m. along with nine of his former teammates, including guard Kylor Whitaker and forward Vernon Butler, the school's second all-time leading scorer.
Wojcik, captain of the 1986-87 team, will not be there. Tulsa plays Rice on Saturday night. The teammates last got together in 2009 when Robinson was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
The signature triumph of the Elite Eight squad was an NCAA second-round victory over a Syracuse team that included Pearl Washington, Rony Seikaly, Rafael Addison and Sherman Douglas and had beaten Navy by 22 points in December. In the rematch at the Carrier Dome, the Mids blew past the stunned Orange with 65 points in the second half.
"We had come a long way that year," Wojcik said. "I don't think we were intimidated like they thought we would be, especially playing at their place."