Steph Curry joins Davidson HOF, has jersey retired, graduates

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DAVIDSON, N.C. — Stephen Curry knocked down another huge 3 – one that was 13 years in the making.

The Golden State Warriors point guard was inducted into the Davidson College Hall of Fame, had his No. 30 jersey retired and received his bachelor’s degree in sociology following an elaborate solo graduation ceremony on the school’s campus.

“This is an absolutely amazing day and an amazing moment for myself and my family,” Curry said during the 90-minute ceremony. “The best decision I ever made was to come to Davidson College and pursue an education, join an amazing community and, most importantly, play for an amazing man who has built this program for what it is in (former Davidson coach) coach (Bob) McKillop.”

There were signs scattered throughout Davidson’s campus, congratulating and welcoming Curry back to the school, which is located about 25 miles north of Charlotte where Curry grew up.

Curry walked into a packed house at Belk Arena – where he played from 2006 to 2009 – wearing a graduation cap and gown, exchanging fist bumps with family, friends, former teammates and current students.

The four-time NBA champion and two-time league MVP turned pro after his junior season at Davidson, and only recently finished his final classes remotely to earn his degree.

The school was purposely waiting for Curry to graduate before retiring his number.

Once he did, he became the first Davidson athlete in any sport to have his jersey number retired, meaning No. 30 will never be worn by another Wildcats basketball player.

“To earn this degree you showed determination and perseverance,” Davidson president Doug Hicks said during the ceremony. “It would have been so easy, so straightforward to not complete your college degree. Yet in response to that idea, you did what you did to 29 other NBA organizations – you said, `night, night!”‘

Curry held back tears as he accepted his degree and, at the urging of the crowd, threw his cap into the air.

His mother, Sonya Curry, spoke at the ceremony, calling it a “dream come true” to see her son graduate.

“Today you can breathe and say, `Check, it’s done,’ ” Sonya Curry said. “Today you helped coach McKillop maintain his 100% graduation rate. And you set an example for others, young and old, that it’s never too late to complete your education.”

Sonya Curry said she initially wanted her son to go to a larger Division I school farther from home but changed her mind after watching the Wildcats practice.

“I told him if this is what you want to do, I will support you,” she said.

McKillop talked about how Curry’s unselfishness, saying he mailed postcards to Davidson fans, alumni and supporters thanking them after he was drafted seventh overall by the Warriors in 2009.

“How many young people have the capacity to do that?” McKillop said.

Curry closed his speech by saying, “I’m a graduate, I’m a Davidson alum and I am in the Hall of Fame – and that’s pretty crazy.”

Davidson’s director of athletics Chris Clunie called Curry “Davidson’s most extraordinary scholar-athlete” while inducting him into the school’s Hall of Fame and retiring his jersey number, which was revealed in the rafters of the basketball court.

“Every father hopes their child makes their world a better place,” said Stephen’s father and former NBA player Dell Curry. “With that said, I’m a lucky dad because he’s doing all of that. … If you want to know how to treat people, look at that man right there.”

Dell Curry added: “And the next Hall of Fame, you know where that is going to be.”

Bob McKillop retires as Davidson coach after 33-season run

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Bob McKillop watched his former star player Stephen Curry closely as he celebrated winning another NBA championship with tears.

It felt like a timely bit of reassurance for the longtime Davidson men’s basketball coach as he prepared to announce his retirement.

“Everything happens for a reason,” McKillop said Friday as he choked up. “Did you see Steph after the game last night? He was crying, crying, tears. I thought that was a message to me: It’s OK to cry today.”

McKillop’s 33-year run at the small private school of fewer than 2,000 students north of Charlotte, North Carolina, included coaching the eventual NBA star with the Wildcats before Curry became a household name. It also included becoming one of the most respected voices in Division I men’s basketball on the way to 634 wins and 10 trips to the NCAA Tournament.

He announced his retirement in a campus news conference for the end of this month to make way for his son, associate head coach and former Wildcats player Matt McKillop, to take over as his successor.

The retirement announcement came shortly after athletic director Chris Clunie said Davidson would make Curry’s No. 30 the first number retired by the school after he earned his degree this year – 13 years after he left school early for the pros and one day after Curry won his fourth title with Golden State while being named NBA Finals MVP.

Bob McKillop, 71, became the latest notable coaching figure to exit the game in a little more than a year, a list that includes retired Hall of Famers Roy Williams at North Carolina in April 2021 followed by Mike Krzyzewski at Duke and Jay Wright at Villanova after last season. Those departures come at a time of massive change to the sport, with wide-open player movement through the transfer portal and college athletes more broadly able to cash in on their fame through endorsement deals.

“You might say, ‘Well, are you leaving because of the landscape of college basketball? Are you leaving because other guys have retired?”‘ McKillop said. “Let me tell you: They don’t make my decisions.

“There are three things that make my decisions: faith, family and Davidson College. And this is best for faith, this is best for family, and more importantly this is best for Davidson College.”

McKillop arrived on campus in 1989 out of the high school ranks and endured a four-win season in his debut year. But he eventually built a consistent winner with 17 seasons of at least 20 wins.

The highlight was a captivating run to the NCAA Elite Eight in 2008 behind Curry’s dazzling play that made him a national star before falling to eventual NCAA champion Kansas.

“Love you Coach!” Curry posted on Twitter. “Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, my family, Davidson and every person you’ve impacted along the way.”

The school named its court after McKillop in 2014. His final team won 27 games before losing a one-point game to Michigan State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in March.

“This program is in a bright place right now,” he said. “The current roster we have is exhilarated and energized and inspired to take the next step in our journey forward.”

As for Curry, Clunie said the school plans to pay tribute to the former All-American on Aug. 31 with a ceremony to honor his number retirement, induct Curry into the Davidson Athletics Hall of Fame and present him with his diploma in a “mini-graduation ceremony.”

“We are so blessed and graced to have had his presence here, and we still have his fingerprints all over us,” McKillop said of Curry. “We are very fortunate.”

George Washington University to drop ‘Colonials’ moniker

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WASHINGTON — George Washington University is dropping its “Colonials” moniker because “it can no longer serve its purpose as a name that unifies,” the school announced Wednesday.

GW will keep using “Colonials” until a new name is introduced. That is expected by the 2023-24 academic year.

“A moniker must unify our community, draw people together and serve as a source of pride,” said Grace Speights, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees. “We look forward to the next steps in an inclusive process to identify a moniker that fulfills this aspiration.”

The school has used “Colonials” since 1926.

A special committee looked into the name’s history and delivered a report to the school president in March 2021.

According to an online statement from the university, a committee determined that supporters of “Colonials” view it as referring to “those who lived in the American colonies, especially those who fought for independence and democracy,” while opponents see the term as referring to “colonizers who stole land and resources from indigenous groups, killed or exiled Native peoples and introduced slavery into the colonies.”

La Salle hires former Penn, Temple coach Fran Dunphy

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PHILADELPHIA – La Salle hired former Penn and Temple coach Fran Dunphy on Tuesday to take over the sagging men’s basketball program that he led to some of its greatest seasons as a guard in the 1960s.

The 73-year-old Dunphy went 580-325 as head coach and led his teams to 17 NCAA Tournaments. He was at Temple from 2006-19 and coached Penn from 1989-2006.

Dunphy is ingrained in the Philly hoops fabric like few in the city’s storied history. He played basketball at Philly high schools and went to games at the Palestra as a kid. He was co-captain under Tom Gola at La Salle, earned a master’s degree at Villanova and won 10 Ivy League titles in 17 seasons at Penn.

“La Salle has given me so much over the years,” Dunphy said. “It gave me a chance to be a a part of multiple teams as a student-athlete, an opportunity to form lifelong friendships, and helped mold me into the man I am today. I can’t wait to work with the young men on the team, reintroduce myself to the campus community, and to help my alma mater any way I can.”

Dunphy succeeded Hall of Famer John Chaney and led the Owls to some of their biggest upsets, including wins over No. 3 Villanova in 2009, No. 5 Duke in 2012, No. 3 Syracuse in 2012, No. 10 Kansas in 2014 and No. 8 SMU in 2016.

The lone blemish on Dunphy’s career is his lack of success in the NCAA Tournament. The Owls won only two games while the Quakers had one in 10 trips.

Dunphy was a member of the 1968-69 LaSalle team that was coached by Gola. The team finished that season 23-1 and ranked second in the final Associated Press Top 25 Poll. As a senior, Dunphy averaged 18.6 points per game and also led La Salle in assists.

La Salle fired Ashley Howard last month after four seasons and a 45-71 record.

Providence routs Richmond to get to 1st Sweet 16 in 25 years

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Noah Horchler scored 16 points and Providence had its best 3-point shooting performance of the season, routing 12th-seeded Richmond 79-51 on Saturday night to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 25 years.

The fourth-seeded Friars (27-5) will face Kansas, the top seed in the Midwest Region, in Chicago next week.

Providence has made living this season on winning the close ones, 16 in all by single digits. The Friars talked this week about being well aware of their skeptics and motivated by being called the luckiest team in America.

The Big East regular-season champions looked like a juggernaut against Richmond.

Providence controlled the game from the start and went up 21 on the Spiders (24-13) less than two minutes into the second half when Horchler swished a 3 from the corner. The Friars shot 52% from the field, and a season-best 54.5% from 3. They came in shooting 34.3% from long range.

The Friars are past the first weekend of the tournament for the first time in six tries under 11th-year coach and Providence native Ed Cooley.

The Friars last advanced past the second round in 1997 when they reached the Elite Eight. The only other time was 1987 when they went to the Final Four under coach Rick Pitino.

Richmond crashed the tournament by winning four games in four days to take the Atlantic 10 championship as a sixth seed, and then upset Iowa in the first round.

Providence never gave the Spiders much hope to spring another surprise. The Friars scored the first seven points. They were getting open shots and knocking them down, and keeping Richmond’s Princeton offense out of the paint on the defensive end, something Iowa struggled to do.

The Friars’ lead reached 16 when Justin Minaya made a 3 from the wing with 9:17 left in the first half. When Horchler dropped in this his third 3-pointer of the half with 19 seconds left, it was 39-24 and Providence had made 8 of 15 from behind the arc.

Richmond’s iron man point guard Jacob Gilyard put up an air ball at the other end to finish the half 0 for 6 from the field. Gilyard, who had played every minute of the Spiders’ previous six games, finished his decorated six-year college career with four points.

Gilyard finally exited the game with 1:15 remaining, receiving a long hug from coach Chris Mooney. Fellow sixth-year senior Grant Golden (10 points and five rebounds) also was greeted with a warm embrace from his coach.

Cooley allowed some of his walk-ons to play the final minute. Before the regulars made their way to the bench for one last huddle, A.J. Reeves looked to the crowd of Friars fans in the stands, smiled and said: “Sweet 16. Sweet 16.”

BIG PICTURE

Richmond: Nathan Cayo led the Spiders with 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting. The rest of the team was 12 for 42 (28.5%).

The Spiders have been to the regional semifinals twice before, including in 2011 under Mooney.

Providence: The Friars had shot over 50% from 3-point range in only one other game this season. They made 53.3% in a win over DePaul on Jan. 1.

UP NEXT

Providence will play Kansas for the first time.

Dayton beats DePaul 88-57 in inaugural women’s First Four

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AMES, Iowa — Erin Whalen scored a career-high 28 points, hitting seven of Dayton’s 13 3-pointers and the 11th-seeded Flyers eased past DePaul 88-57 on Wednesday night in the inaugural women’s First Four.

Dayton (26-5), making its 10th NCAA Tournament appearance, advanced to play No. 6 seed Georgia on Friday in the Greensboro Region.

Jenna Giacone scored 19 of her 21 points in a dominate first half for the Flyers.

Dayton made 11 of 13 3-pointers in the first half while holding DePaul, the nation’s scoring leader at 88.3 points a game, to just 11 of 37 from the field. Whalen made Dayton’s eighth straight 3-pointer of the first half for a 46-27 lead. The Flyers entered averaging 5.9 3-pointers per game.

Whalen and Giacone combined for three 3-pointers during a 9-0 run in the first quarter and they added five 3-pointers in the opening seven minutes of the second quarter. Whalen and Giacone scored 19 straight Dayton points in the second quarter before a Makira Cook basket gave the Flyers a 19-point lead with 1:41 left.

Giacone made all four of her 3-point attempts in the first half and 6 of 8 shots overall. Whalen added 17 points and Cook had 14 to help Dayton build a 55-32 lead at the break.

Cook finished with 16 points and Tenin Magassa had eight points, 14 rebounds and seven of Dayton’s season-high 15 blocks. Giacone added five blocks. The Flyers, the Atlantic 10 regular-season champs, held opponents to 54.7 points a game this season.

DePaul shot just 27.1%.

Star freshman Aneesah Morrow had 28 points and 17 rebounds for her nation-leading 27th double-double of the season in 33 games for DePaul (22-11). Lexi Held added nine points for the Blue Demons, who had just eight players available.