Toppin returns to his “second home,” UD Arena, for first game since 2020

Former Flyer sits behind bench with his family

Former Dayton Flyers star Obi Toppin made a surprise appearance at UD Arena on Wednesday. He sat behind the bench with his family, including his brother Jacob Toppin, who plays for Kentucky, as Dayton played Virginia Commonwealth in the first Atlantic 10 Conference game of the season for both teams.

» PHOTOS: Toppin returns to UD Arena

Toppin took his seat moments before the opening tipoff and was shown on the scoreboard. Then during the first TV timeout, he took the microphone and talked to the sold-out crowd.

At halftime, Toppin talked to local media for about three minutes.

“This is my second home,” Toppin said. “Having the opportunity to come back here and experience their first conference game with fans — because last year they didn’t have fans — it’s amazing to be here.”

Toppin’s last game at UD Arena was his final game with the Flyers on March 7, 2020. Dayton beat George Washington in the final game of the regular season, improving to 29-2 and finishing 18-0 in the A-10. The season was cancelled five days later.

The New York Knicks drafted Toppin eighth overall that November. He’s now in his second season and averaging 8.6 points and 3.9 rebounds.

» PHOTOS: Dayton vs. VCU

The Knicks played at home against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday and have a home game Thursday against the Boston Celtics.

Toppin also returned to Dayton last summer to host a youth basketball camp in Beavercreek.

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