Green Wave alumnus vs. robots at regional contest

March 21, 2012 5:43 AM

New Wave staff

Johnny Arthurs, a former Green Wave player whose basketball jersey (#31) was retired in 1993, joined the FIRST Robotics Bayou Regional on March 16 to test his skill against robots designed by high school students as part of the FIRST Robotics program supported by the Tulane School of Science and Engineering. Arthurs won.


Robotics Bayou Regional

Former Green Wave basketball player Johnny Arthurs (retired jersey #31) joins the FIRST Robotics Bayou Regional on March 16 to test his skill against robots. (Photo by Bill Arthurs)

“This year the theme of the competition was Rebound Rumble, so the challenge with Johnny Arthurs was perfect,” says Annette Oertling, professor of practice and assistant dean for K-12 outreach in the School of Science and Engineering.

Arthurs, who bested the robots in shooting basketballs through a goal, holds the Tulane single-season scoring record as a senior in 1968-69, as well as virtually all single-season offensive records. That senior season performance earned Arthurs first-team All-America honors. He finished his Tulane career with 1,501 points, which ranked No. 1 on the Green Wave’s scoring list at the time. Arthurs still is one of the highest scorers in Tulane history.

There were 49 teams from seven states involving nearly 1,000 high school students at the competition held March 15–17 at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, La. Seventeen Tulane faculty and staff members and students were among the 100 volunteers needed to assist at the tournament. As it occurred during spring break, several Tulane students chose to volunteer all three days, Oertling says.

This was the sixth year that the school has supported the FIRST Robotics Competition, “the varsity sport for the mind,” which combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology, Oertling says. Teams of at least 25 high school students raise funds, design team “brands,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against competitors.

Tulane supports these programs by providing board members, tournament organizers, mentors and volunteers.



Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000