Friday September 23, 2011

Nothing But Net

The University of Dayton has named the men's basketball offices in the Cronin Athletics Center after Carmen J. Riazzi, a former standout and sparkplug on some of the best Flyer teams in school history.

The player who served as the sparkplug of some of the best men's basketball teams in University of Dayton history has come through in the clutch once more for his alma mater. Thanks to the generosity of the Riazzi family, the men's basketball offices in the Cronin Athletics Center will be known as the Carmen J. Riazzi Basketball Suite.

"Carmen Riazzi was a gritty, 'whatever-it-takes' kind of player at the University of Dayton and a winner," said Tim Wabler, vice president and director of athletics. "We're very grateful that his name is linked to our basketball program in this way, and we appreciate the support of the Riazzi family. The student-athletes and coaches who pass in and out of the Riazzi Suite will be reminded every day that Carmen and his teammates set the standard for University of Dayton basketball, and did it with a style and class that every team should emulate."

Riazzi, a 1957 graduate, played on some of the best teams in University of Dayton history. During his three seasons in a Flyer uniform, UD won 69 games and went to Madison Square Garden for the NIT each year. The 1954-55 and 1955-56 teams both reached the NIT finals. Those teams were nationally ranked all but four weeks of their two seasons.

The 1955-56 team was ranked second in the nation for seven weeks, the highest a Dayton team has even been ranked. Riazzi was selected team captain as a senior, and led what some called "a rebuilding team" back to the NIT quarterfinals. He was named team MVP.

"Carmen was always known as the hardest-working player on the court," Daniel J. Curran, president of the University of Dayton, at the dedication ceremony. "As I look at what the University of Dayton is all about, it's about individuals who work to their potential."

Riazzi played on teams that included UD Hall of Famers Bucky Buckhorn, John Horan, Don Lane, Jim Palmer, Jim Paxson, Jack Sallee and Bill Uhl. Some of his former teammates attended today's ceremony and joined University officials in paying gratitude to the Riazzi family.

The Carmen J. Riazzi Basketball Suite will contain offices for the basketball staff, a video room, meeting rooms and an academic area. It will overlook the Lackner on-campus practice gym and is part of the Cronin Athletic Center, which is currently being renovated. The Cronin Athletic Center is part of a comprehensive facility upgrade for University of Dayton athletics. In the last 10 years, the University of Dayton has invested $35 million in its athletics facilities, primarily due to private donations and corporate support. The on-campus home for every Flyer sport program has been either newly constructed or renovated in that time.

For more information, contact Doug Hauschild, sports information director, at 937-229-4390.

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