Tuesday April 13, 2010

Saluting the 2009-10 Basketball Seasons

The University held a rally to honor the women's basketball team's first NCAA tournament appearance and the men's basketball team's NIT championship.

Nearly 2,500 fans came to the University of Dayton's Frericks Center April 9 to honor the women's basketball team for its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance and the men's basketball team for its National Invitation Tournament championship.

The crowd included former Flyers men's basketball coach Don Donoher, who coached the Flyers to the 1968 NIT title, and Dayton Mayor Gary Leitzell.

“There are bigger and better things to come for both of these teams," Donoher said.

Leitzell presented the two teams with “blue prints” from the city that recognizes both teams as “Dayton Originals.”

“The University of Dayton has been a fabric of this community for many years. The future of this city depends on teamwork and partnership and UD has stepped up on both those fronts,” Leitzell said.

It was a year of firsts for the Dayton women’s basketball program. In addition to reaching its first NCAA tournament, the program also won its first NCAA tournament game, earned the program's first win against a top 10 opponent and reached the top 25 poll.

“This team has so much character. They believe in the principles of the University of Dayton," Flyers women's head basketball coach Jim Jabir said. “This (celebration) is new to us but we like it a lot and we could really get used to it. I’m proud of the culture we have built and hopefully, the second round is something we surpass next year.”

To conclude the festivities, seniors Marcus Johnson and London Warren unveiled the 2010 NIT Championship trophy, placing it on a table next to the 1962 and 1968 NIT trophies. The men’s basketball team defeated four Bowl Championship Series schools during in its NIT title run this year.

For more information, contact athletics communications at 937-229-4390.