By BILL LAMBERTY
MSU Sports Information
Neil Everett won't exactly pass through Eugene, Oregon when he visits Bozeman on June 30, but the nationally-known anchor of ESPN's SportsCenter might as well.
Everett, whose friendship with Brian Fish began when Montana State's current head coach worked as an assistant at the University of Oregon, will be the featured guest for Bobcat Basketball's 6th Man Club Summer Tipoff event on June 30. A University Oregon graduate, Everett spent nearly a quarter-century with either a continent or an ocean separating him and his alma mater.
"I kind of lost touch with my Duckdom," he said with a laugh.
But then the woman he would eventually marry suggested to Everett a trip to Eugene for a football game.
"I'd been (working) in Connecticut for nine years and Hawaii for 15 years, so I'd been separated for nearly 25 years from getting back on campus and doing anything with the school,” Everett said. “So through that I met the football coaches, met the basketball coaches, and one thing led to another, friendships were formed."
One of those friendships is with Fish, then a member of Dana Altman's coaching staff. Fish is entering his second season at the helm for the Bobcats. Everett immediately caught Fish's eye.
"He's such a down-to-earth person," Fish said. "I think people here will really like the enthusiasm he brings. He has a great national perspective on what's going on in sports, but he's a very down-home guy."
Everett finds similar qualities in Fish.
"Some people have an attractive energy, and you feel a vibe from them that they're likeable as human beings and you want to see them succeed professionally," said Everett, who has been with ESPN since 2000 and who also worked in Hawaii for 15 years in television and college athletics. "That's the vibe I get from Coach Fish."
The event is in the Great Room of the MSU Alumni-Foundation Building at 11th Avenue and Lincoln Street. The cost is $25 for the public, $10 for Bobcat Club members, and 6th Man Club members are admitted free. Appetizers are provided. The Great Room is on the Alumni-Foundation's second floor. Reserved parking is available for 6th Man members, with general parking available in the Alumni-Foundation and Fieldhouse lots.
For information or to reserve tickets, contact Mary Shaun at 406-994-3499.