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Silver Bullets ignite crowd at UNH basketball doubleheader

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WEST HAVEN, Conn. – The University of New Haven Department of Athletics hosted an exhibition game for the Silver Bullets of the Wallingford Recreation on Saturday, January 23 during halftime of the men’s basketball game. The team is 45 men strong ranging in age from 60 to 84 years old and includes men from all walks of life.

The University of New Haven Department of Athletics hosted an exhibition game for the Silver Bullets of the Wallingford Recreation on Saturday, January 23 during halftime of the men's basketball game.

Silver Bullets Basketball is celebrating its 11th season and competed at UNH for the sixth consecutive season. The players include veterans of World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. Several members have received the Purple Heart, while one member, Bob Fortino, has earned the Bronze Star for his service to the country. The team also features electricians, teachers, professors, businessmen, lawyers, factory workers, government employees, social service workers, lifetime soldiers as well as politicians.

University of New Haven alumnus and Athletics Hall of Fame member Mel Horowitz can often be seen as the leader of the group as they go up and down the full court. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996, Horowitz was a member of the first varsity basketball teams at the University. He played in 1961-62 and 1963-64, during which he was best known for his long-range jumpers and ability to score points. Whether he drained a three-pointer or penetrated the paint and dished out an assist, Saturday’s exhibition proved to the crowd that Horowitz hasn’t lost his touch. An inaugural member of the Silver Bullets, Horowitz nearly reached the 1,000-point mark at UNH in just two seasons. Quite a feat when considering the three-point basket in college basketball didn’t existence until 1986.

“It’s like riding a bike,” said one of Horowitz’s teammates during a practice at Charger Gymnasium on Friday morning. “You never forget how to do it, but sometimes you have to fix the parts.”

Boisterous roars came from the 300-plus crowd when players connected from long-range, broke out on fast breaks or ran set plays. However, no cheer was louder than when 84-year old William Yopp, better known as “Dub”, elevated and blocked a layup with a strong swat that reminded the crowd of the 20-somethings they had watched for the preceding 20-minutes.

For those wondering what the Silver Bullets postgame ritual looks like – not much different than the 20-somethings they watched in the final 20-minutes, take a shower, eat some pizza and talk about the game.

The Silver Bullets halftime exhibition was part of the UNH Department of Athletics broader community engagement efforts, which seeks to help the surrounding towns and community organizations while providing opportunities for student-athletes, coaches and administrators to give back to their communities.

Have an idea? Contact UNH Associate Director of Athletics, Susan Zawacki at szawacki@newhaven.edu.

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The Student News Source of the University of New Haven
Silver Bullets ignite crowd at UNH basketball doubleheader