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NHL's Doug Weight endows hockey scholarship at LSSU
Dec. 19, 2002
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich.- National Hockey League superstar Doug Weight has donated $200,000 to endow a hockey scholarship at Lake Superior State University.
Weight is the first former Laker player to make a major financial contribution to LSSU.
"Lake Superior State is a great place," said Weight, a three-time NHL All Star, who plays center for the St. Louis Blues. "Allison (Weight's wife) and I have decided that we want to help another player experience what I did at Lake Superior. I'm a proud alumnus. I'm at the point in my career where I can afford to give back, and I want to do that. I hope that this scholarship will live forever as a demonstration of my support for the University and the hockey program."
A native of Warren, Mich., Weight attended LSSU from 1989-91 before turning pro with the New York Rangers after his sophomore season. Now 31, Weight is in his second season with the Blues. He spent nearly 10 seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, where he blossomed as an NHL star, and captained the team.
Weight's gift to LSSU will endow one of the 18 hockey scholarships here.
"Endowed scholarships help energize and sustain programs at all universities," said LSSU President Betty Youngblood Ph.D. "Increasing endowments is a high priority at LSSU. This support is important in our effort to restore Laker hockey to the prominent position that it enjoyed in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
"Doug Weight knows first hand of the unique educational opportunities afforded both at a small, public university and through playing NCAA Division I hockey. He is one of the most successful NHL players to have worn the Laker jersey. This endowment is his legacy at LSSU." Bill Crawford, LSSU Director of Athletics, called Weight "the consummate Laker. Doug still plays with that intensity and discipline that so exemplified our best hockey years. He has maintained a relationship with us over the years, and is helping in a major way financially. I hope that other former Lakers will follow Doug's lead. It goes without saying that Doug's agent, Steve Bartlett, deserves a lot of credit for assisting in this endeavor."
Interest from Weight's gift will almost fully fund a hockey scholarship, freeing up institutional dollars for general hockey operations.
"What Doug has contributed will eventually free up one scholarship," continued Crawford. "As the value of the investment grows, the University will recoup the value of a grant for hockey. The goal is to endow as many athletics scholarships as possible so that the institution's general fund no longer has to supply those funds. With a relatively young alumni base and minimal time as a four-year institution, it is very encouraging and important to have an individual of Doug Weight's stature take this step."
Hockey coach Frank Anzalone, who coached Weight his freshman year at LSSU, initiated contact with Weight last spring.
"It is awesome that Doug is doing something that hasn't happened here before," he said. "It is a great step by him. It is the greatest show of support for the institution and the hockey program. I think this is the single largest cash gift ever to the University."
Anzalone noted that LSSU couldn't have a better person take the lead with such financial support. Since leaving LSSU, Weight has played for Team USA in the 1998 and 2002 Olympics, earning a silver medal in 2002. He has more than 200 goals and 500 assists in his pro career. He led the Edmonton Oilers in scoring for the fifth straight season in 1997-98, a feat matched only by The Great One, Wayne Gretzky.
Weight signed with the Rangers on April 2, 1991 and made his NHL debut April 13 that year. Twelve seasons later, he is with his third NHL team and considered one of the top players in the game.
At Lake Superior State, Weight was the highest-scoring freshman in the nation in 1989-90, with 21 goals and 46 assists. As a sophomore, he totaled 29 goals, including a school-record 10 game-winning goals, and 46 assists. He helped the Lakers to the 1991 Central Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season and playoff titles and was named second-team All America that year. He is 19th on the LSSU career scoring list after playing only two seasons.
Doug and Allison are the parents of a daughter, Ryan, 3, and son Danny, 1. They reside in suburban St. Louis during the season and have off-season residences in Phoenix and Gaylord, Mich.
"I'm happy that we are in a position to give back like this, to help another player have the wonderful opportunity that was afforded me for two years at Lake State," said Weight, who has 11 goals and 16 assists through 30 games with the Blues this season. "What I learned, the great times that I had and the doors that were opened for me are always in the back of my mind. I didn't earn a degree but I always think of Lake Superior State as 'my school' and I never fail to note that in interviews that I do. I played for two great coaches there (Anzalone and Jeff Jackson) and was fortunate to be able to turn pro and to make a career of hockey."
Weight's Career Highlights:
1989-90: Totaled 21 goals and 48 assists in 46 games for LSSU...ranks seventh on the LSSU single-season scoring list....was the top-scoring freshman in the nation....named to the CCHA All-Rookie Team.....chosen in the second round, 34th overall, by the New York Rangers in the NHL entry draft...
1990-91: Totaled 29 goals and 46 assists in 42 games for LSSU....ranks third on the LSSU single-season scoring list....named second team All America, CCHA First Team and CCHA All-Tournament Team....set record for game-winning goals with 10....helped the Lakers win CCHA regular-season and playoff titles...signed with the Rangers on April 2 and made his NHL debut on April 13....
1992-93: Traded to the Edmonton Oilers....
1993-94: Established Oilers' record for most games played in a season (84)....
1996: Played for gold-medal-winning Team USA in World Cup of Hockey....
1997-98: Became the second player (behind Wayne Gretzky) to lead his team in scoring for five straight seasons...played for Team USA in Olympics....
1998-99: Voted most-popular Edmonton Oiler....
2000-01: Became the fifth player in Edmonton history to record 500 points....
2001-02: Traded to St. Louis....Played for the silver-medal USA team in the 2002 Olympics....recorded 500th NHL assist....
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