Page 6,The Institute Report,April 2013
onto the battlefield to participate as a soldier, simply because he’d told a
representative of the Sons of Confederate Veterans about his relationship
“That experience is what inspired my love for military history, which
in turn was a driving reason to study at [VMI],” said Crane, who is
majoring in international studies.
Crane also recalls having been told once by an aunt that he had the
same hair as Stonewall Jackson. Smiling, he observed, “I don’t know if
I’d said something on Matriculation Day, that maybe they’d have made
an exception and wouldn’t have cut my hair.”
Jackson descendants have attended VMI before, noted Col. Keith
Gibson, director of museum operations, but not in large numbers. While
the Institute does not keep track of how many Jackson relatives have
attended VMI, Gibson estimated one or two per generation. A direct
descendant of Jackson, Tom Shaffner, graduated in 2008.
For Crane, the Jackson family tie has strengthened his bond with the
Institute. “It made things a lot more personal to me during the Rat Line,”
he said. “As rats, as we would pass under Jackson Arch, we would always
salute General Jackson on the way out. It put things on a personal note.”
After VMI, Crane plans to commission in the U.S. Army, not a
surprising choice, since his mother’s family has a strong tradition of
Philip Crane inspects Jackson belongings housed in the VMI
– VMI Photo by John Robertson IV.
“I feel like I have something to live up to,” said Crane. “I want to
make [Jackson] proud.”
‘Make Jackson Proud’
Continued from page 4
Basketball’s Okoye and Covington Earn Awards
Forward Stan Okoye ’13 was named 2012-13
Big South Conference Men’s Basketball Player of
the Year, and forward/center D.J. Covington ’14
was named the league’s Defensive Player of the
Year when the awards were announced in early
March. Okoye went on to be named to the National
Association of Basketball Coaches Division I
District 3 team on March 26, becoming the first
Keydet since 2007-08 to do so.
Okoye, who was voted the BSC Preseason Player
of the Year last October, became the first Keydet to
win a conference player of the year award since
Jason Conley was named Southern Conference
Player of the Year in 2001-02. He also earned Big
South All-Academic Team honors.
Covington, who was selected Big South
Freshman of the Year in 2010-11, earned BSC
top defender honors after posting a school season
record in blocks.
Okoye has etched his name among the elite basketball players in VMI
basketball history, becoming one of only five in school history to surpass
the 2,000-point career scoring mark as he wrapped up his VMI career
fourth in all-time scoring. Okoye is also only the second in school history
to collect over 900 career-rebounds and is the first player in Big South
history with over 2,000 career points, 900 career rebounds, and 100
career blocked shots. Okoye is on pace to become only the fifth player
in BSC history to lead the conference in scoring and rebounding in the
During his career, Okoye has attained Big South Conference All-
Freshman, All-Conference, Preseason, and now Postseason Player of the
Year honors. In his 1st Class season, he averaged a league-leading 21.5
points and 9.2 rebounds a game and was named Big
South Player of the Week six times. His top games
this year included 11 double-double games, and
he has produced seven 30-plus-point games and
16 games of 20 points or more. Over his career,
he has scored 20 or more points in 48 contests.
Okoye’s top games this year include career-high
39 points against Presbyterian College and 34
points and career-high-tying 16 rebounds against
University of North Carolina-Asheville. On Jan. 30
against Radford University, he rallied his team to
victory with a signature performance by scoring
the last 16 points, including a game-winning
In the Corps, Okoye serves as vice-president of
the VMI Honor Court and has been awarded the
Keydet Club’s three-legged stool for all-around
excellence in academics, military, and athletics.
Covington averaged 3.03 blocked shots during
the regular-season as he recorded a career-high 88 blocks in 29 games
this season. After an injury-plagued 2nd Class season in 2011-12,
Covington posted a blocked shot in every contest this year and had 11
games with at least four – including a season-high seven at Old Dominion
University and at Liberty University.
Covington also grabbed 7.2 rebounds per game this season to rank
sixth in the league and contributed 1.2 steals per game.
In conference action, Covington blocked 52 shots for a 3.25 per-game
average and was fourth in the league with 8.1 rebounds. He is the second
VMI player to be voted the Big South’s Defensive Player of the Year since
the award began in 2005-06, with Travis Holmes earning the honor in
Stan Okoye ’13 was named 2012-13
Big South Conference Men’s Basketball
Player of the Year.
– Photo courtesy of VMI