Sports Hall of Fame class announced

By Marshall Haim

Assistant Sports Editor

The Canisius Athletic Department on Monday announced the inductees for the annual induction for the Sports Hall of Fame. The induction will occur on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017 at halftime during the men’s basketball game against Saint Peter’s.

        Andrea Bunten, a 2005 graduate from Canisius, played softball for the Griffs. In her tenure with the program, Bunten set the career strikeout record, fanning 663 batters, including a season-record 238 in the 2004 season. She won the MAAC title on three occasions, claiming the title in 2002, and in back-to-back years (2004, 2005). Bunten is one of two pitchers to throw multiple no-hitters at Canisius, joining Michelle Corrigan, who threw five.

Kevin Downey earned his undergraduate degree from Canisius in 2005, before earning his master’s in bachelor arts two years later. Downey is one of seven players in the history of Canisius basketball to amass over 1,000 points, 400 rebounds and 250 assists in a single career. Downey played 116 games for the Blue and Gold, all of which he started. He was also the first freshman to start every game in a season since Ray Hall, the all-time leading scorer at Canisius, did so in the 1981-82 season.

Bryan Worosz, a 2005 graduate like Downey, becomes the 11th member from the Canisius hockey program to be enshrined into the Canisius Hall of Fame. Worosz is a two-time Atlantic Hockey MVP, ranking second in the team’s Division I history with 42 wins between the pipes for the Griffs. He also ranks third in goals against average (2.82) and save percentage (.919).

Becky Zak will become the 13th women’s basketball member to join the other 191 members in the Canisius Hall of Fame. Zak, a 2006 graduate, is the 18th highest scorer in team history (1,136), also ranking sixth in assists (474). Zak also shot a career average 35.3 percent from beyond the 3-point arc; good enough for 5th in team history. She is one of six players in history to shoot greater than 35 percent from 3-point range.

The entire 1962-63 men’s basketball team will also be inducted into the Canisius Hall of Fame. Under the coaching of the late legendary coach Bob MacKinnon, the team will become the fifth to be enshrined. One of the highlights of the regular season was when the Griffs lost to the #9 ranked Arizona State Sun Devils by only four in the final game of Queen City Invitational in Buffalo. Later in the season, Canisius participated in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) at the historic Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Griffs lost to the Providence Friars in the championship game, 88-61.

James Laufenburger will receive the Rev. Paul J. Dugan, S.J., Award. The award is given to “individuals whose acts or efforts have significantly benefited Canisius athletics.” Laufenburger is deemed the “father of modern football at Canisius”. In 1966, he gathered a group of students to participate in a touch football game against longtime rival, Niagara, aiding the creation of a club football team. The team evolved into a Division III program starting in 1975, following Laufenburger’s retirement. The program continued until it folded following the 2002 season.

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