Northern Michigan University men’s basketball legend Gene Summers to be saluted on Saturday

Gene Summers

MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University men’s basketball team is welcoming back to Marquette one of the only two players to have his number retired by the Wildcats’ program.

Gene Summers Appreciation Day will be held at halftime of the NMU men’s game against Saginaw Valley State that starts at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Berry Events Center.

A barbecue luncheon will also be held in Summers’ honor at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the University Center Explorer Room. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door or by RSVP to NMU men’s head coach Bill Sall at 250-0052 or email at

A player for Northern from 1964-66, Summers was inducted into the NMU Sports Hall of Fame in 1977.

As a First Team All-American in 1965 and 1966, he still holds a number of Wildcat team records while playing for legendary coach Stan Albeck, according to team records posted online at

The records include the highest career scoring average of 28.2 points per game, highest season scoring average of 30.0 points per game in the ’65-’66 season and most field goals made in a game and in a season.

His 50-point game against Michigan Tech in the 1965-66 season ranks second highest all-time in school history while his 39-pointer vs. Northern Illinois ranks in the top 20.

He scored 1,328 points in his collegiate career, still 13th on the team’s all-time list despite his playing just two seasons as a Wildcat.

The Flint native was a ninth-round NBA Draft pick of the Chicago Bulls in 1966.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is