NCS' Starks to attend ULL hoops reunion
LAFAYETTE- For Northside Christian’s Byron Starks, it will be just like old times this weekend.
Starks, one of the most prolific scorers in Ragin’ Cajuns Basketball history, is one of dozens of former USL (ULL) players who will be in attendance Saturday for the UL Basketball Reunion.
“I am really excited to get back with old friends and former players who have been down the path and made contributions to the university,” said Starks, who is currently the head boys basketball coach at Northside Christian. “It’s always exciting to see what they are doing beyond basketball and what other contributions they are making towards society.”
Starks is also looking forward to reminiscing with former teammates about their playing days. While he was at USL, now known as UL-Lafayette, the Cajuns had three 20-win seasons and won two conference titles.
“I had the privilege of playing with a lot of guys that are in the top 10 scoring in the history of the school, or in that 1,000 point club,” said Starks. “Like Michael Allen, Todd Hill, Kevin Brooks, Aaron Mitchell, Marcus Stokes. We had a bond on the basketball court, but, most importantly, we had one off the court as well. That was a real highlight of my career.”
Starks, a native of Grambling, played for the Cajuns from 1990-1994 and currently ranks 10th all-time with 1,592 career points. He also ranks in top-10 with 133 steals.
In 1991-92, Starks and UL were named the Sun Belt’s Regular Season and Tournament Champions with a 20-11 record under former head coach Marty Fletcher. Two years later, Starks was a unanimous All-Sun Belt selection as a senior as UL claimed the SBC Tournament title again.
He was a leading contributor as the Cajuns advanced to the NCAA tournament, twice, during his four years of play. At the 1992 NCAA West Regional, Starks scored 21 points and was named the Chevrolet Player of the Game as the No. 13 seed Cajuns upset No.4 seed Oklahoma, 87-83, in the first round.
He capped off his career scoring 17.9 points per game as a senior and averaged 13.1 points per game for his career. Starks played in 121 games with 113 starts and was a 49.4 percent career shooter. He finished his career with 456 rebounds and 255 assists.
Other highlights from his career include a 25-point outing in a win over No. 20 Nebraska during the 1992-93 season and a career-high 32 points against Texas Weslyan in 1993-94.
He was one three players in 1993-94 season to crack the 1,000-point mark. Joining him were Michael Allen (1673 pts., 8th all-time) and Tony Moore (1,118 pts., 31st all-time).
In the 2008-09 season, Starks was an assistant coach for the Cajuns under former head coach Robert Lee. He was the first student-athlete to serve as a men’s basketball assistant coach since his former teammate Eric Mouton did so from 1994-97 under Fletcher.
Fans will have a chance to meet Starks and other legends of UL basketball on Saturday at the Cajundome with a pre-game autograph session from 6-7 p.m prior to the Cajuns game against UL Monroe.
This weekend, Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns celebrate 100 years since the start of basketball at the University. Current and former coaches, players and staff members from seven different decades will get together Friday and Saturday for the UL Men’s Basketball Reunion.