Dayton fans pick their favorite Flyers of all time

Top scorers lead the list, but fans have many reasons to making their picks

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

Who is the best Dayton Flyer of all time? The Flyer Faithful will debate that question forever.

Roosevelt Chapman, Don May, Henry Finkel, Brian Roberts, Jim Paxson Jr. — the players at the top of the all-time scoring list — will get votes. Obi Toppin would get some votes even though he only played two seasons.

A different question will bring up the same names but also many new ones. Who is your favorite Flyer of all time? I posed that question to fans in November in preparation for writing this story, and they didn’t disappoint in their answers, covering a wide array of players who earned their votes for many different reasons.

Here’s what they had to say:


Don May (1965-68)

Robert J. Leugers Jr., Hamilton: He electrified the old Fieldhouse, and he consistently contributed 110% to every game he played. I was a year behind him at UD, and never actually crossed paths with him, but he was my basketball hero/idol. I watched every game with awe as he rang up 20 points and 15 rebounds. I loved the games with Hank Finkel, Dan Sadlier, and Bobby Joe Hooper, but May was the best at getting a bucket or snaring a rebound when either was needed most. Probably my most memorable recollection would be him cutting down the net after winning the NIT the season after losing to UCLA in the NCAA finals. Nineteen sixty eight was a good year for Dayton basketball, with Mr. Basketball leading the way and getting the MVP for the tournament. In the NIT Final, Dayton beat the Kansas Jayhawks with Joe Joe White, their star player. It was an awesome finish to Don May’s All-American college career. So, there’s my vote, but really, choosing a favorite is tough because of all the great players that have graced the Fieldhouse and the Arena. Flyers Forever!

Steve Hess, Springfield: Seeing the success he had when I was in high school and seeing his picture on Schoenling beer posters around Springfield, he and coach (Don) Donoher are probably two of the main reasons I chose to play basketball for UD. He played bigger than he was. Great rebounder. Scored well also but knew his shooting range. He and I remain friends to this day.

Tom Schwieterman, Milner, Ga.: As an undersized player, his all-around play was superior. His tenacity in rebounding was remarkable against much larger players. His skill set was best displayed in a NCAA tourney game against North Carolina in 1967. The string of consecutive shots he made, his rebounding, and his defense were unmatched. I believe his play during that game is unmatched by any Flyer and one of greatest (games) played by anyone. His sportsmanship was unmatched as well.

Bill Sword, Dayton: Even at 6-4, May controlled the backboards in most games. He wasn’t afraid to get in and mix it up with the big boys and control the game with rebounding. Plus his left-handed jump shot was a thing of beauty. ... I was raised in Beavercreek and actually played a few summer pick up games with Don. He was ferocious on the court but a gentle soul.

Paul Gagel, Maria Stein: His game against North Carolina was nothing short of a masterpiece.

Bill Donnellon, Morristown, N.J.: I was a freshman at UD in 1966-67, the year May led the Flyers to the Final Four. I liked that he was a lefty, like me, and also that, at only 6-4, he pulled down 15-plus rebounds a game besides scoring over 20 points per game with his pure, unstoppable jump shot from the left corner. I covered the freshman basketball team for the Flyer News that season, so I saw him a few times at the Fieldhouse, but never spoke to him.

Dan Doherty, St. Mary’s: Don took the Flyers to new heights. While Tom Frericks was the architect and foundation and Don Donoher was the engine that made it possible, Don May was the gas in the tank that got the program to the point that made the new arena an attainable goal.

Steve Connair, Dayton: Don, a hometown boy from the Belmont area of Dayton, consistently played exceptionally well on offense and defense. He was so strong, when he rebounded no one could grab the ball away from him.

Mike Snyder, Mansfield: Pound for pound, inch for inch, May was the greatest rebounder I ever saw.

Tim Tormey, Charleston, S.C.: My Dad was a career U.S. Air Force officer and when we were stationed at Wright Patterson, he took me and my brothers to UD games. The time period was between 1965-1970. As a young boy I would listen to every game on the radio. We were lucky enough to attend games at the Fieldhouse and then at the new arena. I also attended a basketball clinic at UD with Coach Donoher and the players. Without a doubt, Don May was my favorite player. I will never forget when the Flyers played in the NCAA Final Four and then they won the NIT Championship. Don May was unbelievable. I continued following him after he graduated from UD and played professionally. I still have a photo from Don May and a few programs from games we attended. I hung on to those items for over 55 years.

Credit: Contributed Photo

Credit: Contributed Photo


Donald Smith (1971-74)

Gerry Magin, Blackwell, Okla.: His great energy, his love of the game always shined through.

Tony Amann, Fort Loramie: As a family, we would gather around the radio and root on the Flyers beginning with the Don May and Bobbie Joe Hooper era. But my all-time favorite Flyer was Donald Smith. Nobody could heat up faster than Smith and his pure stroke and patented jersey untucked was fantastic to watch. Not enough O’s in smooth!!

Gregg McCollum, New Bremen: I liked his fadeaway jumper and remember watching his 52-point game and scoring 32 in a big upset of Notre Dame. He always had rubber band on his wrist. He was such a pure shooter.

Brian Mitchell, Bellbrook: Smooth silky scorer. What would his scoring average be if he played during 3-point era? Will never forget listening to Omar Williams broadcasts and watching Donald Smith with that left-handed sweet shot.

Jonathan Hicks, Dayton: Donald was truly a clutch shooter and team player.

Bill Skelly, Beavercreek: Donald was the best 1-on-1 shooter I’ve seen. As a fellow classmate, I got to watch him starting with his stint on the last “freshman team.”

Dan Stephans, Trotwood: Probably the best dribbler and step-back shooter in Dayton history. So fun to watch. Was shooting baskets by myself at a playground. He and a buddy couple buddies of his showed up. Asked me if I wanted to play some 2-on-2. What fun!

Denny Weber, Kettering: The triple OT game against UCLA when Donald hit what would have been the game-winner, but timeout was called right before the shot!

Credit: Contributed Photo

Credit: Contributed Photo

Roosevelt Chapman (1980-84)

Fred Longo, Englewood: After they beat LSU my freshman year at UD, (Chapman) was interviewed by CBS and asked what he thought of the next opponent, Wayman Tisdale. He said, ‘We’ll see who the real All-American is.’”

Matt Simmons, Dayton: Simply the greatest Flyer to ever put the Chapel blue and Red on his back! All-time leading scorer without ever shooting a 3 (No 3-point shot at the time). He’s always extremely gracious with photos and autographs. I was born in 1979, and by the time the 1984 magical season came to be, I was in the arena every game. Now my two sons have grown up on my lap at the same arena we call home!

Jim Wasson, Dayton: At 6-4, he was a dynamite inside player. I remember coach Donoher saying, “When we needed a rebound, Chap would go up and get it.”

John Brieske, Tucker, Ga.: Velvet was special — smooth as silk and cooler than the other side of the pillow. He lived down the street from my house for two years and always had a friendly wave or head nod when he strode by in that cool manner of his.

Eric Mestemaker, Sidney: His game was smooth as velvet, and his combination of scoring and rebounding was remarkable for an undersized guy playing forward. No UD player that I have watched (late 70s on) was more gifted, yet so even keeled on the court and humble off of it.

Bernie Smith, Dayton: He could play anywhere on the court.

Sean Conlon, Milford: His nickname defined his game. I was a student at UD the same time he was. Roosevelt was a class person on the court and when I occasionally would see him on campus. His play throughout the season brought joy to this basketball junkie constantly studying to make it through engineering school! I still think he was the best forward we had at being able to execute the step back jumper AND faking that shot, driving and lofting a sweet lay-in to the basket.

Sam Pratt, Dayton: He could score at any time from anywhere

Jeff Gilbert, Cedarville: I was in the arena the night early in the 1982-83 season when they lost to Minnesota. I don’t know how many he scored, but I remember him dunking on 7-3 Randy Bruer in a flashy way only he could.

Jim Dabbelt, Tipp City: He was the first college player that I can remember following when I began my work in the sport before going over to the girls side. He was a human highlight reel.

Jim Paxson (1975-79)

Jeff Atkinson, Dayton: He’s a hometown kid, just a year older than me so we kind of grew up together. I remember Jim’s days at Alter High School, sitting in the student section (we used to sit back then LOL) at the arena and then his incredible pro career. I don’t think any UD player to date has had more success at the next level. Jim wasn’t just a great shooter from outside, he could slash to the basket for a shot, and if he wasn’t open was an outstanding passer. He handled the ball very well for a player standing 6-6, which was pretty unusual in the mid to late 70′s.

Tim Werbrich, Newark, Del.: Paxson elevated Dayton basketball to a greater level during his time at UD. Although he could score, he moved without the ball so well that he was so hard to guard. I was in high at the time so I remember his play well. Loved when UD would beat Notre Dame with Digger Phelps.

Mike Moorman, Piketon: He was the first Flyer player that I remember from going to UD games with my dad and sister back in the mid 1970s. No specific memory, just his overall approach to all aspects of the game.

Russell Midkiff, Mount Vernon: I had the privilege of witnessing the greatness of Jim Paxson during my freshman year at UD. He was the total package. Great shooter, ballhandler, leader, defender — he could do it all! So smooth. And pretty much an all-around great guy and stellar representative of UD.

Credit: Contributed photo by Erik Schelk

Credit: Contributed photo by Erik Schelk

Ryan Perryman (1994-98)

Sean Hargadon, Mount Prospect, Ill.: Ryan worked harder than anyone on the court and played above his ability level thanks to his work ethic and determination. More than that, Ryan is approachable, genuine, friendly and authentic. No ego, no arrogance — just a good dude.

Anthony Gounaris, Chicago: Tenacious in the paint and just a great player. More importantly, great personality ... always happy and full of life

Ryan McFarland, Liberty Township: He helped turn the program around and gave 100% every minute of every game.

Shawn Panther, Charlotte, N.C.: I sat through 4, 6, and 7 win seasons my first three years as a student. Ryan led us out of basketball darkness. He made UD basketball fun again. The 1998 NIT home game against Long Island was his magnum opus. He had a double-double about 10 minutes into the game and 17 rebounds in the first half.

Emily Redman, Kettering: He was the first Flyer that I really got to admire as a kid going to games with my dad. Loved his toughness and dedication to rebounding. Real solid all-around player who could power drive a ball to the hoop, shoot a jumper and was really smart about the game.

Courtney (Wendeln) Deutsch, Dayton: He was a classmate of mine, and I had second-row student section seats under the bucket our senior year. I had an up-close-and-personal view of all his rebounds. He was a beast on the court, contributing massively in a stat line category that isn’t always celebrated as much as it should be. Off the court, he was as genuine as could be. He enjoyed just being a student ,and we’d see him out and about often. The first time I met him, he informed me that his sister’s name is Courtney, and that he’d never forget my name because of it. He hasn’t. We’ve become better acquaintances since graduation, and he continues to engage every Flyer fan that approaches him like they are important and worthy of his time. A true Flyer through and through, and an exemplary representative of the Dayton Flyers men’s basketball program.

Credit: Staff photo by Ron Alvey

Credit: Staff photo by Ron Alvey

Brian Roberts (2005-08)

Chad Underwood, Columbus: I loved his composure in big moments and that silky smooth shooting stroke. Sadly, I think my resounding memory is that he should have been remembered better. I was at UD from 2004-08, a fairly dark period for Flyers hoops, but BRob was a bright spot. That 2007-2008 team was really good and got into the top 15 in the country when A-10 play started. But Chris Wright broke his ankle, Marcus Johnson got injured, and BRob got the flu right before the Xavier game. We got smacked in Cincinnati., and that team couldn’t recover. But Roberts went on to a solid NBA career — the first one in some time for the Flyers. I’ve loved some players since — Wright, Dyshawn Pierre, Kyle Davis, Kendall Pollard, Obi Topping, Trey Landers, Jalen Crutcher. But BRob holds a special place in my heart.

Derek Dilley, Galloway: Just so smooth on the court and the nicest guy off of it. Much better at basketball than he was at beer pong though. The game vs. Pitt at the Arena was just amazing, and he owned every minute of it. In my history of being a Dayton fan, the fact that he never played in an NCAA tournament game is the second most tragic on-court event other than the cancelation of the 2020 NCAA tournament. Injuries to Chris Wright, poor coaching and roster building by Brian Gregory and Trent Meacham transferring out ruined his shot at a national spotlight.

Jeff Fenster, Centerville: Brian was always in control of the game. My favorite moment is when he hit that nearly half-court 3-pointer going into the half against Pitt.

Alex Buskirk, Chillicothe: He was in the same graduating class when I was a student. He was consistently our best player, took the hard route into a NBA career and was always a good guy when you’d run into him on campus.

Chris Wright (2007-11)

Rita Tharp, Dayton: He was so exciting to watch fly through the air. I couldn’t wait for the next game to see what he brought. In my opinion, having him on the team put us on the map for what was to come later for the program.

Andrew Tillman, Dayton: Chris Wright couldn’t be stopped in my eyes. His athleticism was unmatched by any other Dayton player in that period. I went to the Brian Gregory kids camp when I was a kid, and met him. Super nice guy. He put me up on his shoulders so I could dunk (I was like 10 so it was the coolest). I’ve worn 33 in basketball ever since. Even cooler since he was a hometown guy and awesome to see what he’s doing for the community today.

Mark Pace, Chattanooga, Tenn.: The energy, athleticism, leadership and dunks. My brother taught him in middle school at Trotwood, and all of the students were saying how he could dunk well even in the seventh or eighth grade. My brother didn’t believe it. They went to the gym, and sure enough, Chris had no problem throwing one down.

Mara, Dayton: When i was 7, I was the BIGGEST Chris Wright fan. When he got hurt and had to have surgery, my aunt was his nurse. She told him how big of a fan I was, and he stopped what he was doing and signed a special note for me while he was at the hospital. He’s always been a stand-up guy, and I’ll always appreciate that even when he was hurt he still went out of his way for his fans.

Kyle Davis (2013-17)

T.J., Dayton: My father and I loved his style of play. He was a great team player and such a genuine person. I did receive multiple autographs over the years. Davis even signed one of my new iPhones at the time. I followed him during the TBT and when he played in the G League. He was always more than happy to take pictures with us. We have also had several shirts, blankets and signs and posters made with his name and his number for memories. Kyle made such a positive impact on the UD team, and we wish him the best in his future career.

Matt Pearce, Centerville: He was a scrappy lefty who could hit big shots and score when he wanted. Always diving on the floor for loose balls. I remember him getting up on the scorer’s table at UD Arena.

Ashley Overman, Dayton: Every time he made a big defensive play, he would do several hard claps and walk towards center court. He was gritty and had a chip on his shoulder. His defense was the reason many games turned in our favor and for many eruptions by the Flyer Faithful. His style of defense would get in the heads of our opponents, and I loved it!

Joe Vallee, Sutton, Mass.: Kyle was tenacious on the court for the Flyers. He was the team’s heartbeat and grew so fast into a leading role on those Flyer teams. For as good of a player as he was on the court, he is a great person off the court. I have heard many stories of his kindness and generosity with the fans. I attended UD for grad school and worked with the OASSA office under the basketball academic support person Beth Flach. I did my project on the experiences of non-scholarship student athletes, and Beth brought Kyle with her to Stander Symposium, where we had the opportunity to share our research. He was very interested in my research, asking questions and appreciated the hard work that went in to it. I thought it was great that not only Beth came to visit me but also that Kyle came, too.

Michael Cruze, Zanesville: He was such a gritty player. Always played hard defense, and even though his offense was suspect, he still found a way to make clutch shot after clutch shot. I have two favorite memories of him. The first was the dunk against Cal in his freshman year. Second was him locking down the Boise State player in the First Four game.

Matt Borger, Dayton: Total hustle. Great defense. Always had his head in the game. Knew his way to the basket on fast breaks, and he always FINISHED. Was humble on the court, not a hot shot.

Noah LaChance, Dayton: In the summer of 2013, I was a junior at Stivers School for the Arts in Dayton. I lived near the Art Institute so I went to shoot hoops one evening at W.S McIntosh memorial park (outdoor courts). When I got there, there were a group of guys playing pickup on one of the two courts. I was shooting on the other court, and they asked if I wanted to play a game of pickup with them. I go over there, and we start playing. It’s apparent one of these guys is the real deal. He was playing in Military Blue Jordan 4s — if you know sneakers, those are NOT what an average Joe would hoop in for fear of ruining them. This guy was pulling up from 3 and draining everything (on double rims!). After a while, I asked, “Where do you play?” (Assuming he was in high school). He says, “Dayton,” and I’m confused but don’t say anything else. As a UD fan, I didn’t recognize him as anyone on our roster. We continue to play, and he continues to get buckets. Pull-ups, handles, agility, he was so quick. That night I go home and google the upcoming freshman class, and lo and behold, it was Kyle Davis. Ever since then, I hold onto the fact I played with him and got to witness how good he was firsthand.

Credit: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

Credit: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

Scoochie Smith (2013-17)

Patrick Sharkey, Vandalia: I loved his game. Offensively, you couldn’t speed him up. He played at his own pace with elite handles and great court vision. Defensively, he wasn’t as good as backcourt running mate Kyle Davis, but he had some of the quickest hands, especially when playing off the ball. Anytime we needed a big bucket or big play, he delivered, notably the Davidson game when he hit three 3s in OT. He led that Flyers class to the most wins in school history, I think that says something about what type of player he was. Long live the Scooch.

Tata Brodbeck, Dayton: His “Dab” that all kids copied! His smile and joy playing! Never got to meet him in person but have talked with him on “X” supporting his annual camp! So proud of him returning to Dayton to help community kids!

Charlie Fadel, Athens: As a kid watching the 2014 run, it was magical. I’ll never forget my grandparents who lived in Dayton at the time bringing me rally towels and newspapers from the Dayton area. Scoochie was electric, and 9-year-old me was immediately drawn to his name and swag and confidence when he played. That 2014 run was the first time I really remember getting behind a team and truly identifying with them.

Mike Kidd, Dayton: Loved how he always had command of the court! I always felt no matter how hectic the game if we got the rock to No. 11 we’d be OK.

Trey Landers (2016-20)

David Swanson, Evanston, Ill.: Trey wasn’t known for making highlights, but he elevated the team. You may not have noticed him individually on the floor, but you could recognize that he was there based on the way the team was playing. He was one of two glue-guys on the 2020 team — Ryan Mikesell being the other. He was one of the few who stayed with the Flyers after Archie (Miller) left and played a lot in (Anthony) Grant’s first season. Just about every game on TV they would mention that his brother played football at OSU. I think Trey had some lineman in him. He was excellent at boxing out and creating space. He did what was needed and was smart enough to figure out what was needed. I don’t have his autograph, but I have an autograph from Dick Vitale that reads, “Trey for Trey, All Day, every which way.”

Keith Gallagher, Bethlehem, Pa.: Trey was a beast. He was skillled but played like football player (his brother). He stuck with the program after a year with Archie and improved every year. When you needed a rebound or big shot, Trey was the man. He was your glue guy that played great defense, while Jalen (Crutcher) and Obi (Toppin) were the stars on 29-2 team. That team would not have been as successful without guys like him, Ryan and Ibi (Watson).

Tess Kimmett Miley, Delphos: Trey was all hustle and seemed to be a great teammate, always encouraging his team on and off the bench. I loved when he entered the game because you knew something good was about to happen. I loved how very kind he was to my three grandsons and their friends during the summer camps and the autograph sessions, always making sure to catch each kids’ name correctly. I’m sure he’s many people’s favorite!

Obi Toppin (2018-20)

Ryan Abels, Englewood: I loved how he had to work to improve and went from bench player to national player of the year and just loved seeing all the highlights of him on SportsCenter, all the top-10 plays and all the exposure he gave UD! My favorite moment in his career was when College GameDay came to campus. We sat behind the Knicks bench last year vs the Cavs, and he autographed my three kids’ jerseys. They are framed and hanging up in my house.

Amy Hall, Dayton: AINT NO STOPPIN OBI TOPPIN!!!! We love Obi and the impact that he left on the fans at UD. We love that he still comes back to visit.

Noah Maurer, West Chester: He plays with heart and a passion for the game that is unparalleled to many other players. After the Rhode Island home game in 2020, I went down close to the tunnel and kindly asked for him to sign my ticket. He graciously did so without hesitation and was kind about it. I also was in attendance for the TBT in 2022. I was sitting close to the court, but he spent nearly 10 minutes signing autographs and taking pictures with fans, including myself. Just a really great guy. I will always support him.

Ben Katz, Dayton: Obi’s final season was easily the best single season of any Flyer that I ever saw (and I’m 46).

Barry Sokol, Dayton: One of the greatest of all time.


Jerry Westendorf (1940-43)

Tom Westendorf, Kettering: Of course, it’s my father, Jerry Westendorf. UD class of 1943, Jerry was a three-sport star at the University of Dayton. He also is a member of the UD Athletics Hall of Fame. He was known as a gritty and tough-nosed player who possessed a mean set shot. He could still beat me at horse in his 60s. A leader on and off the court, he taught by example and was the absolute best dad in the world. Attending over 1,000 UD games in my life, I actually have hundreds of favorite Flyers from Dave Abel to Jack Zimmerman.

John Horan (1951-55)

Colleen Horan, Dayton: I never saw him play, but growing up in Dayton there were a lot of “are you related to John Horan?” moments. He’s still the leading rebounder, a first round NBA draft pick and one of the highest scorers in UD history. Also, a really great Dad.

Garry Roggenburk (1959-62)

Rod Mattingly, Rochester, N.Y. : They called him “Graceful Gary” for a reason. He was beautiful to watch. He was so consistent and had a great set-shot. Was a super rebounder at a slim 6-6. He was a top pro pitcher as well.

Ron Anello (1960-63)

Katie Brookshire, Kettering: Growing up, we always heard stories about him. Everywhere we went, we were asked about him. We were in awe that everyone knew him. He is the reason for my love of UD basketball. He was my dad. Because of him, I understand the deep pride that stems from being part of the UD basketball program. It was a part of who he was. It’s a tight bond that fans also feel with the players, who understand the fanatical Flyer Faithful. This summer at the airport, I was giddy from seeing another of my favorite players, Trey Landers. When I shared how much I liked watching him play and commented on his championship ring, he handed it to me to look at! I teared up because the ring is a valuable memento that he didn’t hesitate to entrust me with. For a moment, I sensed what my dad must have felt when he and his team won the 1962 NIT championship — a connection to my all-time favorite Flyer made possible from another modern favorite Flyer!

Henry Finkel (1963-66)

Jack Cullers, Bellbrook: Over the years, I have had a lot of “favorites,” but the player who made the biggest impression on me was Hank Finkel. Probably not the most talented of players, but I can still see him giving it everything he had running up and down the old Fieldhouse court. His face would be red with exertion and his eyes filled with determination. I admired that, especially since it was a rough time for UD basketball with coach (Tom) Blackburn’s illness.

Bob Aumer, Sarasota, Fla.: You could always count on a steady 20-point performance from him.

Dan Sadlier (1966-69)

John Maisch, Lima: He was from my high school and he played well underneath for his size.

Dan Obrovac (1966-69)

Rosie Miller, Dayton: Dan outjumping Lew Alcinder (AKA Kareem Abdul-Jabbar} is one my favorite UD basketball moments. It is also one of the most used photos in Dayton basketball history. Since this was my era at UD, I have vivid memories of the team, the season and that special NCAA final game. I am more than slightly prejudiced in choosing Dan as I was fortunate enough to become his life partner from 2003 until his death in 2010. He always said that jump was his three seconds of fame. Dan’s dedication to promoting UD basketball over the years was unmatched. He was always willing to attend any function related to UD basketball.

Jack Keehan (1968-71)

Steve Mueller, Kettering: He is my brother-in-law. He played in the first game in the arena and I believe the last game in the Fieldhouse. He loves UD basketball. He has great stories about playing in general and being coached by Donoher. Jack may be the first player recruited from California. He rarely started in a game but was dedicated as a man off the bench. He has stayed connected to UD.

Steve Hess (1970-73)

Jason Hess: His jump-shot form and his positive attitude. He is the original No. 23. He’s my Dad and he and my Mom (who met at UD) are the reason I am a die-hard Flyer fan. I have his home white jersey autographed and framed in our basement.

Johnny Davis (1973-76)

Paul Sheelen, Oceanside, Calif.: Johnny was the quickest Flyer in my history of following UD basketball. He could sky with the best of them and had a darn good pro career.

Jack Zimmerman (1976-80).

Denny Esford, Warrensburg, N.Y.: Deadly jump shot if you left him open from the free-throw line to the arc.

Kevin Conrad

Toni DeVelin, Waverly: A guy who showed up to play every game with a great work ethic. He credits Don Donoher for his athletic and adult success and is still one of the biggest cheerleaders for the Dayton basketball program.

Damon Goodwin (1982-86)

Doug Phillips, Dayton: Had the best shot I’ve ever seen. He played a key role in the Elite Eight run in 1983-84. Met him on a few occasions — great person.

Negele Knight (1985-90)

Alan Beck, West Carrollton: The 1990 “Back to Life” Flyers don’t go on their run to end the season unless he hits the winning shot on the road against Marquette. Averaged 29.7 points in their 11-game winning streak.

Alex Robertson (1989-94)

Pete Vlahutin, Parkersburg, W.Va.: I’m a little biased since his years at UD coincided with my own. However, I have had the privilege of teaching and working at a Marianist high school that has produced four NBA players (two current) in the past twenty years, and Alex had the best defensive hands I have ever seen. The best moments where when he was already moving up the court before the opposing player even knew his pocket had been picked.

Keith Braswell (1994-95)

Scott Bonvechio, Dover, Ohio: He lived on my floor at Founders Hall as a freshman. It was (Oliver) Purnell’s first year, and UD was coming off some really bad years. I was a Notre Dame fan growing up, so I didn’t know much about UD hoops. Keith being on the team gave me a reason to go to the games and fall in love with the Flyers.

Chris Daniels (1992-96)

Matthew Neff, Troy: Chris Daniels was in the midst of his breakout season when he tragically passed away when I was at my peak Flyer fandom as a 14-year-old in Troy. I had been a Flyer Fanatic for years, and his performance in his senior year, UD’s first year in the A-10, had me so excited for the future as he shined along with future star underclassmen. I still remember hearing the news of his passing from my parents in the early-morning hours, and I couldn’t believe the news. Such a great player and person who was just coming into his own as a star player.

Andy Meyer (1992-96)

Victoria Ajibola, Kettering: I was a super young and passionate Flyer fan, and I loved all the players. I got autographs whenever I could, and I knew everything there was to know about all the players. I happen to be super fond of Andy Meyer. I’m not so sure what it was about him other than we were both from Kettering and I thought he was a good player. My mom made me a shirt that read, “I heart Andy,” and I wore it every chance I could. One day after a game, my dad took me down to see Andy and he autographed the shirt. I also had a teacher who was a photographer at Dayton, and she gave me pictures she took of him during the games. They were black and white, and I thought they were so cool!!

Tim Reinhart, Centerville: Andy was a highly-recruited forward out of Alter who chose to stay home and play for Dayton during a time of struggle for the teams in the early to mid 1990s. I recall while he was only a freshman, Andy came into the games, hustled hard, and showcased his sweet left-handed stroke, breaking the record for 3-pointers made as a freshman at the time and shooting over 45% from the 3-point line. Andy was undersized for his power forward position, but could shoot the lights out, box out anyone bigger than him for rebounds and consistently make his free throws. Andy was a hard-nosed player who never let up on effort. From a hometown kid who would shoot barefoot out in the driveway of his parent’s Centerville home to a successful pro player in Europe after college, Andy left his heart out on the court for UD as a crowd favorite, shining as a light for an otherwise dark time in UD basketball history.

Tony Stanley

Brian Horwitz, Denver: I loved watching his defense, him curling around the court off picks and hitting the 3 and the 23 points he put up in a win against No. 13 Kentucky in Cincinnati. He was also my coach at the Oliver Purnell basketball camp one year, which was like meeting a hero.

Brooks Hall (1999-2003)

Dave S., Dayton: I have met him on more than one occasion. The first was the best. It wasn’t until after his senior season. I was a big fan. I was going to get a T-shirt made up to wear to the games that said, “Brooks Hall is a stud,” but was told by friends that maybe that was not the best thing for me to be wearing to a game. It was two years later. I was shopping at the Dayton Mall, and I ran into Brooks. I introduced myself, and told him the story about the shirt, and he was almost rolling on the floor laughing and told me that I should have done it! I’ve talked with him since, and he still laughs about the shirt.

Keith Waleskowski (2000-04)

Todd Alexander, Richmond, Ind.: I loved the way he hustled and his great work ethic. He was not the most athletic, but his effort and basketball IQ made up for it. He always seemed to know where the ball was coming off the rim to get the rebound. I also liked his efficiency on free throws. You knew if he was going to the line the Flyers were going to add points to their score. I first met Keith at a father-son camp where he was helping Brian Gregory. I got him to autograph a T-shirt for me. I have since spoken with him after games at Flannigan’s. He is always friendly and a very well-mannered young man.

Frank Iguodala (2002-04)

Todd Tayloe, Centerville: I was sitting in the front row in the student section right next to the hoop, with my normal gameday get up: face painted; basketball hoop over my head; blue polka dotted tie; Red Scare shirt. Frank the Tank came flying at us to the rim to start the Xavier game off with an alley-oop.

Jimmy Binnie (2004-08)

Kyle Spoelker, Cincinnati: His 3-point shot and swag off the bench. ... My good friend got me a signed autograph of Jimmy Binnie for my wedding gift recently.

Mara, Dayton: when i was 6 years old i was at arrow wine with my mom. we saw Jimmy and i screamed “Jimmy binnie for 3!” i thought that was his actual last name bc the announcers always said it. he was so nice to me and made my day. He did have to explain to me though that “for three” was in fact, not his last name. I’ve been a flyer fan all my life but my most special memories with the players are from when I was a young kid and looked up to them. They always exceeding expectations.

Marcus Johnson (2006-10)

Andrew Gauder, Sharonville: I was so young when I followed him, so I can’t speak too vividly on play style, but I remember him being pretty solid beyond the arc (or at least he hit what I felt like were big 3s at the time). I also remember thinking it being cool that he went to the same high school as LeBron James. Best moment for me though was the 20 points he put up against North Carolina to win the NIT. Definitely a great memory I have with my dad (a UD alum) watching that game in a hotel room while on a trip with family.

Devin Oliver (2010-14)

Suzanne Beck, Dayton: He was so much fun to watch play, and I was fortunate enough to meet him once and he was such a nice man.

Jordan Sibert (2013-15)

Mason Di Palma, Long Island, N.Y.: Other than the iconic moments during the 2014 tournament run (the 3-point sign across the chest against Stanford), what I remember most about him was the game-winning shot against IPFW at UD Arena during the season opener that year and, of course, the iconic go-ahead 3 against Boise State at UD Arena during the 2015 tournament.

Josh Cunningham (2016-19)

Phillip Wright, Beavercreek: Josh was always really nice. I had the privilege to have media credentials during his time at UD. He always said hi and even went out of his way to make sure he talked to me. I also liked how he gave 110% on the court!

Jordy Tshimanga (2018-20)

Vickie Given, Sidney: Met Jordy in Maui around the pool. Our grandson asked, ‘How tall are you?’ He picked him up and threw him in the swimming pool. Jordy visit and stays with them when in Dayton. Loves my cooking and calls me Grandma G!!

Ryan Mikesell (2015-20)

Laurie Crumley, Dayton: He was a great team guy and played well under (Archie Miller and Anthony Grant). His commitment to help the team and work with Obi in his medical redshirt year made him my favorite. He always “trusted the process!” After meeting my son with a disability the first time at Milano’s he always treated him with dignity and respect. In fact, his whole family did and still does. His enthusiasm overseas and at the TBT keeps us fans. I think he will be the next No. 33 coach someday! Dunking and raising the roof were the best moments. He truly is a Flyer!

Jalen Crutcher (2017-21)

Lisa Noller, Chicago: Favorite moment: His game-winning shot at Saint Louis.

Toumani Camara (2021-23)

Matthew Rego, Woodstock, Ga.: His 3-point game was always on fire.

Koby Brea (2020-present)

Alyssa Ray, Centerville: My family has had season tickets since before I was born, so I’ve grown up at UD Arena and around UD players. However, my favorite player, by far, is Koby Brea. Based on just game alone, he’s a reliable player. I can relax when he has the ball because I know he’ll drain a 3, especially when we need it the most. His athletic performance is only a fraction of the reason I’m a fan of him, though. His character speaks volumes. In July 2022 at a Red Scare game, my brother and I met Koby. He was the friendliest player I’ve ever met and was talking to all of the fans bombarding him, even though he really didn’t have to be out there in the first place. I posted pictures later that day on my Instagram story from meeting him, and he saw that he was tagged, responded to the story to let me know how grateful he was for our support and followed me back on Instagram! Seven-year-old me would be freaking out.

As a birthday present that year, my mom got me his jersey. I wore that jersey to the Chicago game in December and he saw me wearing it before the game and smiled/high-fived me. After the game (where he performed SO well), he came out to find me and my family and talked with us for the better half of 15 minutes, signed my jersey, took some pictures with us and genuinely seemed to enjoy it. He had a good game and could be celebrating it with his team, but he instead went out of his way to assure his fans knew how much he appreciated us.

DaRon Holmes II (2021-present)

Mary Aponte, Dayton: In the summer of 2021, my 10-year-old grandson attended the UD Basketball camp. DaRon was one of the coaches and hadn’t even begun playing for the Flyers yet. That summer, my grandson saw DaRon at a local festival and asked me if he could go over and talk to him. I told him that DaRon may not remember him from the camp since there were so many little boys. My grandson assured me that he would and ran over to DaRon who was with a group of friends. When my grandson enthusiastically approached him, DaRon looked down and said, “Hey little buddy, how are you doing?” He proceeded to chat for a few moments, acting like he knew exactly who my grandson was. It brought tears to my eyes watching this unfold. He will never know how happy he made a little impressionable boy that day! What a great role model!!!

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