NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The SFA Men's Basketball team is coming off one of their most historic, record breaking seasons in school history.
Throughout their season, they have made plenty of noise in East Texas and in their conference, but the 'Jacks really made a name for themselves nationally in the NCAA tournament, while sparking a sense of school pride that was non-exsistant on the campus.
The season for the 'Jacks is over, but the high of school spirit is just getting started as students, alumni and community members have been celebrating the Lumberjacks homecoming from the tournament. Many have said their school has forever changed because of this basketball team.
The 'Jacks made it back to Nacogdoches just after 6 o'clock this Monday morning. Fans waited patiently for their arrival, congratulating the 'Jacks on the season that has managed to do some magic in East Texas.
"This is a team that not only united a campus, but untied a community. This is a team that has gone beyond our beliefs of what we thought we could do and I've never been more proud to be a Lumberjack than right now," said Alden Utz, an SFA student.
The celebrations continued until Monday night, as the school hosted a special pep rally for the team. A sea of people were there to support the team on all their accomplishments, and for what they have managed to do for their school and community.
"Everybody was happy tonight. There were a few emotional moments as the coach was reflecting back on some of the kids that won't be back next year," said Ron Collins, an SFA alumni.
One of those being senior, Desmond Haymon, who will always be remembered as the player who changed SFA history with one shot. That one shot sent SFA into overtime against VCU in the NCAA tournament. Coach Underwood hasn't taken Haymon for granted.
"His jersey will some day hang in the coliseum. He is a 1,000 point scorer," said Underwood.
Haymon is also leaving the program as the winningest player in school history.
"To come and see it packed out here was amazing," said Haymon. "Seeing SFA and the school spirit was amazing. It was a blessing to play here. I have many memories I'll never forget, and as I continue to grow in life, I'll never forget SFA. It will always have a special place in my heart, forever."
This team seems to have grown a special place in the hearts that cheered on the 'Jacks throughout their season.
As the pep rally came to a close, Coach Underwood said these last few words.
"I want to thank all of you because you have a special place in my heart. Thank you very much, Axe'em 'Jacks," said Underwood.