News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 27, 2014

1977 plane crash memorial unveiled in Evansville arena

Terre Haute native among victims

Associated Press

---- — EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A memorial to the 1977 plane crash that killed all members of the University of Evansville men’s basketball team is now in place inside the city’s downtown arena.

Hundreds of people gathered Sunday for the unveiling of the 1977 Aces Basketball Memorial Wall at the Ford Center.

The display spans an entire wall and features pictures of the players and coaches who died, along with newspaper headlines and reactions to the crash.

Then-assistant coach Stafford Stephenson wasn’t traveling with the team when the crash happened. He attended the ceremony and told the Evansville Courier & Press he was overwhelmed by the memorial.

The December 1977 crash killed 29 people, including all 14 members of the men’s basketball team, shortly after takeoff from Evansville Dress Regional Airport.

Terre Haute native Mike Joyner, a standout basketball player for Terre Haute South Vigo High School, was a member of the team and died in the crash.