By Matt Leon and Ed Benkin
GLASSBORO, NJ (CBS) — It should be a really fun weekend at Rowan University in Glassboro.READ MORE: Philadelphia School District's Mask Mandate Goes Back Into Effect On Monday As COVID-19 Cases Rise
On Saturday, the Division III Profs welcome Division I La Salle University to town for a college basketball match-up.
The game is the centerpiece of a 20th anniversary celebration of the Rowan basketball team that won the Division III National Championship. The coach of that team was current La Salle head coach Dr. John Giannini.
“I love Rowan,” Giannini tells KYW Newsradio, “and I love the incredible growth and the great school that it has become.”
Giannini spent seven seasons as the head coach at Rowan, going 168-38 and winning the title in his final campaign in 1996.
“Getting over that hump and then finally winning the championship, it was actually a seven year, day-by-day, process,” Giannini says. “And it was with wonderful people at a wonderful place so I cherish the whole seven years.”
Giannini then went on to spend eight seasons as the head coach at the University of Maine before coming to La Salle in 2004.
Current Rowan head coach Joe Cassidy, who was an assistant on that national championship team, talks about how this match-up came about.READ MORE: Longest Married Couple In Pennsylvania Celebrates 80th Wedding Anniversary
“I give all the credit to Coach Giannini,” Cassidy tells KYW Newsradio. “John Giannini came up with the idea. He first proposed it to me during the summer and obviously I jumped on the opportunity.”
Cassidy is looking forward to everything about Saturday.
“It’s a really unique opportunity for us,” Cassidy says. “There’s maybe a couple dozen game a year where a Division III team plays a Division I team. But I’ve talked to many people and none of us can remember when the Division I team went and played at the Division III site. So that’s almost unheard of and I give John a lot of credit for coming down here and giving us the opportunity to host the game, then have the whole celebration with it, the twentieth anniversary, we’re having a celebration during the game, we’re going to have a banquet after the game. We’re really looking forward to the weekend.”
Giannini also has Saturday circled on the calendar.
“I get to see all these wonderful people and it will be every bit like a family reunion,” Giannini says. “Some of these guys I’ve kept in regular contact with and others I haven’t been able to. But to have everyone together is going to be very special.”
La Salle is 3-1 and coming off a loss to Penn. Rowan is off to a 2-4 start.
Saturday’s game will tip-off at 3:00 p.m.MORE NEWS: Marple Township Police Asking For Public's Help To Find Missing Businessman George Hughes
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.