Oct. 26, 2009
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Ronnie Lester, former All-American basketball player at the University of Iowa, has made a $100,000 gift to the UI Foundation to support the Carver-Hawkeye Arena Enhancements Campaign. The assistant general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers, Lester is a member of the committee that is leading the fundraising effort to upgrade the 26-year-old facility.
At the request of Lester, the UI Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will name the training room at the remodeled Carver-Hawkeye Arena in honor of longtime UI athletic trainer John Streif. Streif, of Iowa City, and Lester, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., have been close friends since Lester’s playing days as an Iowa Hawkeye, beginning in the mid-1970s.
“John Streif has been a terrific friend to me for more than 30 years. He has worked tirelessly to support me and numerous other athletes for over four decades now,” said Lester, a 1981 UI graduate who was a member of the Hawkeye men’s basketball team from 1977 to 1980. “His dedication to the Hawkeyes is legendary, and I’m honored to name the training room for him.
“As a member of the Carver-Hawkeye Arena campaign committee, I am pleased to step forward to make this gift,” Lester continued. “Coach Lickliter has the program moving in the right direction, and I want to do my part to help this important project.”
The goal of the Carver-Hawkeye Arena Enhancements Campaign is to raise at least $20 million to modernize the current facility, according to UI Director of Athletics Gary Barta. No state funding will be used for the project.
“We are thrilled to receive this gift from Ronnie Lester. He is one of the all-time great basketball players at Iowa,” said Barta. “It’s always special to see former student-athletes reach back and support the Hawks. On top of his generosity, it is terrific that Ronnie has chosen to honor John Streif. I can’t think of anyone more deserving.”
Streif, a 1970 UI graduate, is assistant athletic trainer and travel coordinator for the UI. He has been on the UI athletics staff since 1972 and has received numerous honors, including the David J. Skorton Staff Excellence Award for Public Service, given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the UI and have shown “exceptional imagination and dedication to improving the university community,” in July 2006.
The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information about the foundation, click HERE.