Jordy Tshimanga, the newest member of the Dayton Flyers men’s basketball team, stole the show Sunday at the annual season tipoff gathering for fans.
The event, held at Dr. Stephen Levitt’s house, gave fans their first glimpse of the 6-foot-11 transfer who will sit out this season before playing two seasons at Dayton.
Each player introduced themselves on a stage in front of more than 1,000 fans, telling everyone their names, positions, majors and hometowns. Tshimanga made the most of his time in the spotlight.
“Check one, two, one, two,” he said, testing the microphone.
Then Tshimanga said, “Bonjour,” to everyone, continuing to speak in French and making a joke about being a point guard, before switching back to English.
“What’s going on, you all,” he said, “I’m Jordy Tshimanga, previously at Nebraska. My major is psychology. I’m a center. And I’m from Montreal, Canada.”
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Fans got to see all the newcomers and returning players on the Dayton men’s and women’s teams, and they also heard from men’s coach Anthony Grant and women’s coach Shauna Green.
Grant gave his early thoughts on the 2018-19 season, which begins Nov. 7 with a home game against North Florida. Practice can begin 42 days before that date, so Dayton can start as early as Sept. 25, though workouts will begin this week.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time,” Grant said, “and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a group that has been able to bond as quickly as these guys have. It’s a combination of the character we have in our veterans, starting with our captain, Josh Cunningham, to all the guys returning off last year’s team and the new guys that looked at all (the fans) and what we have at Dayton and said, ‘I want to sign up for that. I want to be a part of what Dayton has got going on.’ ”
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Green gave her first public comment since her team returned from a trip to Italy on Aug. 15. She said the trip will jump start the season, which begins officially Nov. 9 with a home game against Colgate.
“What we got to experience was absolutely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Green said. “(The players) can tell you a ton of stories, and the things we all saw, you can’t really put it into words. We had a great time over there. We really developed our team bonding off the floor, and on the floor, we saw a lot. We played three competitive games, and we won all three.
“Over there, they don’t call fouls, so we had to fight for every single point, every single defensive stop. I’m really proud of this group on stage because they showed a lot of fight. Yeah, our offense was sloppy, and yeah a lot of other things were sloppy, but what we saw was toughness, grit and resiliency.”
NOTES: Grant announced the addition of a new graduate assistant coach: Sean Damaska, who played football for four seasons (2012-15) at Indiana and basketball for one season (2016-17) at Northern Illinois. … Former Dayton walk-on guard Joey Gruden will start his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Louisville. He accepted a job on Chris Mack's staff earlier this summer.
Welcome @LaFoudre32 to @univofdayton @DaytonMBB @DaytonFlyers - Dr. Levitt Summer BBQ with Mary and Tom Theil and @LWoods_5 UD #Classof89! pic.twitter.com/VGGlLIU8nU— Bill DeFries (@billdefries) August 26, 2018
WOW! What a turnout yesterday as Dr. Levitt welcomed the #FlyerFaithful to his home yesterday to celebrate @DaytonMBB and @DaytonWBB. There is not a more generous and caring man around, not to mention the biggest @DaytonFlyers fan! #ThankYouDoc #ThisIsDaytonBasketball pic.twitter.com/L5TSBt624H— Eric Farrell (@Airrick__) August 27, 2018
Wow! What an incredible bbq today at Dr. Levitt’s house. Thanks Doc for getting over 2,000 Flyer Faithful together to celebrate this upcoming season. This is what makes Dayton so special! #OneWay #FlyerFamily #ProUD pic.twitter.com/lsueoubSgQ— Shauna Green (@Shauna_Green) August 27, 2018
Thanks to Coach Grant, Dr. Levitt, and everyone who worked so hard to make it a fun event for the #FlyerFaithful today. Can’t wait for the season to start! #GoFlyers— Tom Hirt (@FLYRFN) August 27, 2018
It may be hot outside but Dr. Levitt knows how to have a summer party for @UDFIyerNation Both @DaytonWBB and @DaytonMBB GO DAYTON FLYERS pic.twitter.com/OMTSM5vAdG— Nan Whaley (@nanwhaley) August 26, 2018
Dr. Levitt introduces @DaytonWBB team. pic.twitter.com/S1PzO2zlgo— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) August 26, 2018
The @DaytonMBB team at Dr. Levitt’s Summer Tipoff. pic.twitter.com/LHSTugEKZF— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) August 26, 2018
Dr. Levitt’s house in Kettering is unique. That’s Jordy Tshimanga documenting the scene. pic.twitter.com/GKOorHnnoH— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) August 27, 2018
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