FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

 

 

February 16, 2005

 

 

 

Rhode Island College To Retire
Basketball Jersey Numbers on Feb. 19

 

Five all-time greats to be honored

 

 

 

Providence, RIóRhode Island College menís basketball legends Alex Butler í98, Richard Rouleau í68 and Mike Van Leesten í65 and womenís basketball stars Jo-Ann DíAlessandro í88 and Cathy Lanni í88 will have their jerseys raised to the rafters in a uniform retirement ceremony at The Murray Center on Saturday afternoon on Feb. 19. The ceremony will take place following RICís womenís game vs. Keene State at approximately 3:45 p.m. Donít miss this great event and then stay and watch the Anchormen battle Keene State at 4 p.m. Click here to listen to the archived broadcast

 

 

 

Alex Butler was one of the most dominant basketball players in New England during the early 1990s. He starred for the Anchormen from 1993-97, earning All-American honors as a junior and senior in 1995-96 and 1996-97. The East Providence native is one of only three All-Americans in RIC menís basketball history. During his career, Butler was the biggest impact player in the Little East Conference. He was named the Little East Player of the Year and was First Team All-Conference as a sophomore in 1994-95, a junior in 1995-96 and as a senior in 1996-97. Butler was the LECís Rookie of the Year as a freshman in 1993-94.During his career, Butler was the biggest impact player in the Little East Conference. He was named the Little East Player of the Year and was First Team All-Conference as a sophomore in 1994-95, a junior in 1995-96 and as a senior in 1996-97. Butler was the LECís Rookie of the Year as a freshman in 1993-94. He closed out his career as RICís second all-time leading scorer with 2,398 points. He received the John E. Hetherman Award, signifying him as RICís top male senior athlete, in 1998. He was elected to the Rhode Island College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003. He is currently a physical education teacher at Martin Middle School in East Providence.

 

Mike Van Leesten is RICís all-time leading rebounder with 1,494 boards and is fourth in career scoring with 1,901 points. He is one of only three RIC players with over 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. An extremely durable player, he is second all-time with 106 career games played. Keep in mind these records still stand even though he hasnít graced the hardwood in over 40 years. The Providence native was a member of the first-ever class to be elected into Rhode Island College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989. He earned his bachelorís degree in education from Rhode Island College in 1965. Van Leesten holds three honorary doctoral degrees from Rhode Island College, the University of Rhode Island and Roger Williams University. He is currently the Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Mashantucket Peqot Tribal Nation. He resides in Providence with his wife Paula. Van Leesten has six children: Jill (38), Michael (37), Chris (34), Alexis (23), Andrew (21) and Jordan (13).

 

Richard Rouleau is RICís third all-time leading scorer who compiled 2,183 points over his four-year career. A captain as a junior in 1966-67 and as a senior in 1967-68, the Central Falls native held the school records for the most points in a game and in a season at the time of his graduation. He received the John E. Hetherman Award, signifying him as RICís top male senior athlete, in 1968. He was elected to Rhode Island Collegeís Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990. He earned a bachelorís degree in secondary education, with a concentration in history. After graduation, Rouleau embarked on a career as an educator that is still going strong today. He taught and was an administrator at Warwick Veterans High School for 30 years and was the Assistant Superintendent of Warwick Public Schools from 2000 up until his retirement in 2003. After retiring, Rouleau has since taken the Principalís position at St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket. He resides in West Greenwich with his wife Mary. They have one daughter: Betsy (18).

 

Jo-Ann DíAlessandro starred as a point guard on the great RIC womenís basketball teams from 1983-87. She is the Anchorwomenís second all-time leading scorer with 1,426 career points. When she wrapped up her career in 1987, she was the programís all-time career points leader. She is also RICís all-time assist leader with 430. She was a member of RICís ECAC Div. III Championship Team, the only one in the programís history, in 1985-86. The North Providence native was elected to RICís Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999. DíAlessandro is second all-time in career free throw percentage at RIC and led the country in free throw percentage as a sophomore in 1984-85 with a .897 percentage. She earned a bachelorís degree in psychology from RIC in 1988. DíAlessandro worked in the Town of North Providenceís Recreation Department for 15 years before taking the Assistant Athletic Director for Internal Affairs position at RIC in 2002. She resides in North Providence.

 

Cathy Lanni was one of the most prolific scorers and rebounders in Rhode Island College womenís basketball history during her career from 1983-88. The North Providence native is the Anchorwomenís all-time leading scorer and rebounder with 1,677 career points and 1,101 career boards. She is the only womenís player in RIC history to total 1,000 or more points and rebounds in a career. She was elected to RICís Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999. She had an outstanding junior year in 1985-86, earning All-American honors and helping the Anchorwomen capture the ECAC Div. III Championship, the only one in the programís history. She averaged a double-double for the entire season, averaging 19.3 ppg and 13.1 rpg. Lanni earned a bachelorís degree from RIC in 1988. She is a program manager for DuPuy Spine, Inc. and resides in Smithfield.

 

-end-