LITTLE ROCK – The seventh annual SpectacUALR presented by Triple-S Alarm enjoyed record success on Thursday, Sept. 10 at the Jack Stephens Center. With former Trojan and current New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher as the honoree, the annual fundraiser brought in more than $320,000 for Little Rock Athletics as over 700 attendees helped establish a new standard for giving.
“Thursday night was a marquee evening for Little Rock Athletics as we were able to celebrate our student-athletes, both past and present, coaches, staff and loyal Trojan supporters,” Director of Athletics Chasse Conque said. “SpectacUALR gives us the opportunity to celebrate everything good about Trojan Athletics while enabling us to raise much-needed funds for our student-athletes and coaches. SpectaUALR 2015 will be remembered as one of the more memorable nights in our department’s history.”
Fisher kicked off the 2015-16 life skills program by speaking to the Little Rock student-athletes Wednesday evening, sharing stories of his own time as a Trojan as well as advice on how to prepare for life after athletics.
“Derek Fisher has always remained committed to making time for his alma mater and the people of Little Rock,” Conque said. “It was special to recognize Derek as this year’s honoree and we are thankful he agreed to come back during this busy time to spend a couple nights with us.”
Conque also announced at Thursday’s celebration that the SpectacUALR award, presented annually to each honoree, will now be named the Fisher Award.
Thursday night, Fisher became the second member of his family to be honored, joining his mother, Annette, who was the honoree at the first SpectacUALR in 2009.
“Impacting others is really what we were all created and designed to do,” Fisher said at Thursday’s event. “I just want to encourage us to make sure that impacting other people is truly what continues to inspire us and motivate us and challenge us and push us. … It doesn’t end tonight. This is one night, one event.”
A Little Rock native, Fisher played four seasons at Little Rock from 1992-96 under head coaches Jim Platt and Wimp Sanderson. A two-time All-Sun Belt Conference selection, he was named the 1996 Sun Belt Player of the Year while leading Little Rock to 23 wins and its third National Invitation Tournament.
After Fisher’s time with Little Rock, the Los Angeles Lakers drafted him with the 24th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. A five-time world champion, Fisher has played in (259) and won (161) more NBA playoffgames than any player in league history.
The record-breaking success of this year’s event was made possible in large part due to the efforts of the SpectacUALR committee, led by co-chairs Jane Yocum and Andrea Peel.
“We are most grateful to all of our sponsors and attendees, especially Mary and Rick Edwards of Triple-S Alarm who generously served as presenting sponsors for this year’s event,” Conque said. “We are also indebted to the committee of volunteers and co-chairs Andrea Peel and Jane Yocum for their year-long commitment to helping with this event.”
The record $320,000 – more than $100,000 more than any previous year – will play a major role in helping the Department of Athletics enhance the student-athlete experience at Little Rock. SpectacUALR has now raised more than $1.4M since its inception in 2009.