Dear Flyer seniors,
My WHIO radio partner Bucky Bockhorn and I have had a front-row seat to watch you on the court the last four years and access off the court to get to know you better than the average fan and other members of the media.
ARCHIE MILLER: Seniors cornerstone of Flyers program
As you prepare to enter your final days in a Flyer uniform, we thank you for what you have given us, the fans, the University of Dayton and the community.
Your dream was to play college basketball, but Archie Miller is not a genie granting wishes. The only reason he gave you a uniform is because he thought you could make the team better. You did. Not everyone saw the work you put in during practice or heard the encouragement and instruction you passed along during games, but the record of this team speaks to that. Your desire for greatness, balanced by your humility, will take you far in life.
ARCHDEACON ON BONSU: ‘They call me love’
You came to Dayton to become a better player on a bigger stage. The work you put in during the year you sat out, laid the foundation for you to be an all-conference performer. But not only did you become a better player, you became a better teammate. You impacted games by doing so much more than scoring. You stuffed the stat sheet with assists, rebounds, blocks and steals. You will make a lot of money playing basketball in the future, but I dare to say your fondest memories will be as a Flyer.
You are fearless. People in Chicago told you not to come to Dayton, but you followed your heart and your head. You were your own man making that decision and in your playing career. Your energy level impacted this team on a daily basis. Not only were the Flyers better with you on the court on game day but every day in practice. Your body betrayed you at times, but we never heard you complain.
Our favorite memory will be those moments when you would get a defensive rebound, and we knew — everyone in the arena knew — that you were going to take the ball 94 feet to the rim. You usually scored, but when you didn’t or got called for a charge, it never kept you from going again.
You may be the toughest player that we can recall being around. Toughness is not just a physical trait, and you are physically tough, but you showed the mental toughness to be a great competitor. No stat sheet will ever define your impact. You didn’t hit lots of shots, only big ones. You took on the toughest defensive assignments, smiling the whole time while you drove an opponent crazy. Bucky has always said you were the heart and soul of this team and I totally agree. Your leadership skills will make you, and those around you, winners for years to come.
You came to Dayton with a nickname that grabbed people’s attention, but you will leave having made a name for yourself in the rich tradition of Flyer basketball. You never missed a game and we are pretty sure you only missed one practice. Surrounded by more openly emotional guys, you were a calming force on the floor and practice. Your scoring and assists puts you in elite company at UD. You may be the best layup shooter we have ever seen, finding ways to kiss the ball off the glass in traffic with either hand.
And we won’t remember you for your celebrations after hitting a big 3. We will remember the fact that you would always rise to the occasion to take the big shot.
PHOTOS: Senior night with the Flyers
We will miss you all, but are happy for the future you have ahead of you.
Larry and Bucky