The basketball court inside John M. Belk Arena at the Baker Sports Complex will be called "McKillop Court," an honor Davidson College officials formally presented at a ceremony celebrating head coach Bob McKillop's 25th season prior to the Wildcats' game against The Citadel on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 (view photo gallery, view video tribute).
"McKillop Court" will serve as permanent recognition of this milestone and of the countless successes the Davidson men's basketball program have accomplished under McKillop's leadership.
"Appropriately recognizing the trust, care, commitment and leadership that Bob McKillop has brought to Davidson over the last 25 years seemed like a monumental task," said Davidson College President Carol Quillen, "and the naming of the game court is the perfect tribute. Each time our players, fans and alumni step into the arena, they will feel the impact that one extraordinary person can have on the aspirations of an institution. We congratulate Bob on an amazing 25 years, we thank him for guiding incredible student athletes to discover their full potential, and we look forward to many more years of Davidson basketball under his leadership."
The naming is made possible by lead donors Cheryle and Joel Williamson '67 of Chicago, Ill., Lorinna Lowrance of Charlotte, N.C., and Ayesha and Stephen Curry '10 of Orinda, Calif., as well as other members of the Davidson basketball family.
Cheryle and Joel Williamson have long supported the vision for Davidson's future. They helped lead the founding and funding of a basketball scholarship endowment in memory of basketball stand-out and friend Mike Maloy '70. Most recently, the couple gave generously to establish the Cheryle Williamson Center for Dance in the new athletic center.
Lorinna Lowrance, wife of the late Joe Lowrance '54, has included Davidson College in her estate plans, and she has outlined the new athletic center as a beneficiary. Calling herself "100 percent Davidson," Lowrance rarely misses a men's basketball game and has traveled with the team on many occasions.
Ayesha and Stephen Curry remain strongly connected to Davidson, though their lives play out on the national stage. Stephen, point guard for the Golden State Warriors, credits Coach McKillop with much of his success, on and off the court. In addition to leading Davidson to the Elite Eight in 2008, Curry finished his career as the school and SoCon's all-time scoring leader. Just last week, he was named to the NBA All-Star game's Western Conference starting lineup.
The 2007-08 NABC National Coach of the Year, Bob McKillop led Davidson to the 2008 NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional Championship game with victories over Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin. The Wildcats' unbelievable run ended with a two-point loss to eventual champion Kansas, and Davidson finished the campaign with a final ranking of ninth in the ESPN/USA Today Poll.
To go along with tying the school's single-season record for wins with 29, McKillop and the Wildcats strung together 25 consecutive victories, the longest streak in the nation, before falling to the Jayhawks on the doorstep of the Final Four.
Five of the last seven campaigns have seen the Wildcats collect 25 or more victories, including a 25-8 mark in 2011-12 and 26-8 record this past year.
The Wildcats' 2013 NCAA Tournament appearance marked their seventh under McKillop and the 12th time in his tenure he has led Davidson to a postseason berth - the NCAA Tournament in 1998, 2002, 2006-08, 2012, 2013 and the NIT in 1994, 1996, 2005 and 2009. McKillop-coached teams have now reached the 20-win plateau 11 times, and six have won 25 or more games.
The nine-time SoCon Coach of the Year has won more games in Davidson and league history than any other coach thanks to an all-time mark of 462-290. Entering the 2013-14 campaign, his victory total ranked 31st on the NCAA's list of Division I winningest active coaches. McKillop also ranks eighth among active coaches on the NCAA's list of most seasons with their current school and is one of six on that list who has spent their entire careers at that school.
McKillop's teams have been successful off the court as well. He has had a perfect Academic Progress Rate of 1,000 each year since the NCAA began tracking it in 2003, and all 82 of his seniors have graduated.
During his 21 years coaching against SoCon competition, he has guided the Wildcats to at least 10 wins in conference play 19 times.
The Wildcats went undefeated in the SoCon with a 20-0 record in 2007-08, the third time Davidson accomplished the feat under McKillop (14-0, 1995-96; 16-0, 2004-05). Davidson had a 43-game conference win streak from 2007-09. It was one away from tying the SoCon record and the eighth longest in college basketball history.
A 1972 graduate of Hofstra, McKillop has guided the Wildcats to 12 SoCon divisional titles, including nine of the last 12.
Thirty-nine of his players have gone on to play professionally, including Stephen Curry, the seventh pick in the 2009 NBA draft, who finished second in the 2010 NBA Rookie of the Year voting.
An inductee into the Hofstra Basketball Hall of Fame, McKillop was signed and then cut by the Philadelphia 76ers before beginning his coaching career at Holy Trinity HS.
A native of Queens, N.Y., McKillop and his wife Cathy have three children - Kerrin, a 2002 Davidson graduate, Matt, a member of the 2006 NCAA Tournament team and 2006 graduate, and Brendan, a member of the 2008 Elite Eight team and a 2011 graduate. The McKillop's have two granddaughters, Maggie and Claire.
The Sporting News: "Davidson surprises Bob McKillop by naming program's court after him"
NBC Sports: "Davidson names court after head coach Bob McKillop"
The Charlotte Observer: "Stephen Curry: Naming Davidson's court after Bob McKillop is ‘really cool'"