Obi Toppin: ‘Dayton is a town that lives basketball’

Former Dayton star thanks UD for an unbelievable experience

Two days before the NBA Draft, Obi Toppin looked back at his college career with the Dayton Flyers in an essay for The Players' Tribune on Monday.

Toppin tells his story in his own words, detailing his journey from the basketball courts of New York to UD Arena and his status as a likely lottery pick in Wednesday’s draft.

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Of Dayton, Toppin writes, "The outside world might see Dayton and think of it as just a mid-major program that makes some noise from time to time — but they don’t really get it. Dayton is a town that lives basketball. It’s the thing that really brings everyone together, and only when you’re part of that do you feel how important it is.

“Everybody in Dayton loves the basketball team — and I just happened to play for it. It really wasn’t hard to put your whole heart into the game because everyone else did, too — the players, the coaches and definitely the fans. That was just the culture. Not surprisingly, the more time I spent there, the more I started growing as a person and a player.”

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Toppin spent three years at the University of Dayton and two years on the court, scoring 1,096 points and helping lead the Flyers to 50 victories.

Toppin ends the piece by writing about how the coronavirus pandemic cost Dayton a chance to play in the NCAA tournament.

“Now, in my heart, as a Flyer, do I truly believe we would have been the last team standing at the end of March Madness?” Toppin wrote. “Hell yeah. No doubt.”

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