College Basketball

How a rule change helped late basketball star Mike Maloy into Davidson’s hall of fame

Davidson’s Mike Maloy (top right) joined North Carolina’s Charlie Scott (bottom) and Kentucky’s Mike Casey on the cover of the Dec. 28, 1968 issue of Sports Illustrated.
Davidson’s Mike Maloy (top right) joined North Carolina’s Charlie Scott (bottom) and Kentucky’s Mike Casey on the cover of the Dec. 28, 1968 issue of Sports Illustrated. James Drake

Mike Maloy, Davidson’s first black athlete and a key figure in the Wildcats’ rise to national college basketball prominence in the 1960s, is finally going into the school’s athletics hall of fame.

Maloy, a burly 6-foot-7 center who was the star of those Wildcat teams, died in 2009. He had not been eligible for induction into the hall because he never graduated from Davidson. Maloy turned pro after his junior season.

Davidson changed its criteria for hall eligibility this year, however, removing the graduation requirement.

Joining Maloy in the 2020 Davidson hall of fame class are Brenna Burns (cross-country), John Kilgo (former radio announcer), Jay Heafner (baseball) and Kara Koehrn (soccer). The induction ceremony will be Feb. 22, the day the Wildcats play Rhode Island at Belk Arena.

“We wanted to take a fresh look at the criteria,” Davidson athletics director Chris Clunie said. “We looked at what some other schools do, about 20 or 25 of them. Most of them didn’t have the graduation requirement. They just had to have left school in good standing.”

Maloy was a three-time All-American who helped the Wildcats to three consecutive Southern Conference titles and appearances in the NCAA tournament. His 1,111 rebounds remain the most in program history.

In one of the school’s biggest games ever, Maloy totaled 25 points and 13 rebounds in Davidson’s 87-85 last-second loss to North Carolina in the 1969 regional final.

Maloy was drafted by the Boston Celtics but instead played three seasons in the old American Basketball Association. He then played in Austria, where he eventually became a naturalized citizen. He died in Vienna in 2009.

The change in Davidson’s hall-of-fame criteria also opens the door for the induction of former basketball star Stephen Curry, who left school after is junior season in 2009 and is now a star with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. Curry, who has said he is working toward graduating, will become eligible in 2020.

Neither Maloy nor Curry, however, are eligible to have their basketball jerseys retired. Graduation remains one of the criteria for that honor at Davidson.

Clunie said that might change soon.

“One at a time,” Clunie said of potentially changing the jersey rule. “I think with the jerseys it should be the same concept as the hall of fame. So I think that at some time we’ll talk about changing the jersey requirement piece.”

David Scott: @davidscott14
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