The Dayton Flyers will hand out a new honor after this season. The team’s best defender will win the Steve McElvene Award.
The university made that announcement Sunday during halftime of Dayton’s 72-48 victory against Richmond at UD Arena.
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A video tribute to McElvene, who died at 20 in 2016 of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, played on the board as his mom Jenell Shoals and other family members watched from the bench. They were then honored at half court for McElvene’s tissue donation. According to Life Connection of Ohio, McElvene’s donation helped more than 75 people.
“We’ve have two guys here (Josh Cunningham and Ryan Mikesell), plus Jack (Westerfield), that were here with Steve, and I know it means a lot to those guys,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. “Obviously, I never had a chance to coach Steve or get to know him, but certainly for his family, the way our university and our program respects and remembers who he was and what he was all about to honor his family in that way, it’s always a good thing.”
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Recruiting news: Chase Johnson, a 6-foot-9 transfer from the University of Florida, committed to Dayton on Sunday, announcing his verbal commitment on Twitter. He fills Dayton’s last 2019 scholarship.
Johnson visited the University of Dayton on Dec. 29, two days after announcing he was transferring from the Florida Gators. He visited the University of Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Johnson sat behind the bench during Dayton’s game against Georgia Southern at UD Arena. He’s a 6-foot-9 redshirt freshman forward from Ripley, W.Va., who attended Huntington Prep (W.Va.). He was a four-star recruit who ranked 85th in the class of 2017, according to 247Sports.com.
Johnson played in four games a year ago as a freshman and received a medical redshirt because of concussion issues. He appeared in two games this season, averaging 3.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in six minutes per game and was hampered by another concussion early in the season.
Milestone reached: Janis Gudorf has been attending Dayton games since the 1960s. That’s just what you do when grow up in Dayton, she said. She had an idea she might have a chance to be the 10 millionth fan Sunday but was excited to receive the honor.
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UD randomly selected Gudorf, of Tipp City, before a game against Richmond. She was approximately the 380th fan to enter the doors before a game against Richmond. Dayton is the 11th men’s basketball program in the country to reach the milestone.