Davidson College has raised $1 million for a new scholarship honoring the late Wildcat All American Mike Maloy, and picked current player De’Mon Brooks as the scholarship’s first winner.
Maloy, who led Davidson to appearances in the NCAA Elite Eight in 1968 and 1969, died in April 2009 in Austria, where he had lived for years.
Brooks is a Charlotte native who starred at Hopewell High School before coming to Davidson. He’s a rising junior who was voted Southern Conference Player of the Year last season.
Basketball coach Bob McKillop announced the scholarship in a ceremony at Duke Family Performance Hall during reunion weekend earlier this month. The ceremony capped off a fund-raising drive by former teammates that began in early 2011. The campaign was led by Cheryle and Joel Williamson ’67 and Jerry Kroll ’70. Kroll and Maloy were teammates, and Williamson also played basketball for Davidson.
The scholarship is the second major tribute to Maloy at Davidson. In February 2011, many of Maloy’s former teammates gathered for a reunion that included unveiling of a tribute wall in the Baker Sports Complex lobby.
In a written tribute to Maloy, one of his classmates said, “Maloy was much more than a star basketball player at Davidson. He taught a generation of his peers about race relations with his warmth and unassuming friendship, and by laughing in the face of absurdity.”
Maloy was one of the first African Americans to enroll at Davidson, and he was the first African-American scholarship athlete. He was recruited by legendary coach Lefty Driesell, and it took courage in that era for a New York City African-American player to attend a small, mostly white Southern college. “His time at Davidson wasn’t always easy, but Maloy was popular, and had many friends and supporters on campus and in the town of Davidson,” Davidson College said in an announcement of the scholarship.
John Rogers, a 2011 Davidson graduate who produced a video about Mike Maloy, recalled one of the most memorable and poignant incidents of Maloy’s Davidson experience. Williamson was president of Sigma Chi fraternity in 1966-1967, and Maloy spent much of his time on campus at the house. Members invited Maloy to join their fraternity along with other pledges, but Sigma Chi’s national office singled out Maloy and refused to recognize his membership.
The controversy became heated, and in the fall of 1969, when Jerry Kroll was chapter president, Davidson’s Sigma Chi members overwhelmingly voted to end their affiliation with the national organization. On a campus that was more than 90 percent Greek, the former Sigma Chi brothers welcomed Maloy as a full member. Former Davidson President Tom Ross ’72, a Sigma Chi pledge at the time, said, “It was one of my proudest moments at Davidson.”
Maloy was Davidson’s top player in four years of outstanding teams. He led Davidson to three straight NCAA tournaments, including appearances in the final eight in 1968 and 1969. He and two players from other schools were pictured on the cover of Sports Illustrated as the country’s best in the 1968-69 season. He still holds the Davidson record for rebounds.
But Maloy left campus shortly before he would have graduated, and after a short stint in the American Basketball Association, he moved to Austria. He also left Leslie Clarke, his wife for a few years, and their son and daughter, Michael and Nicole. Clarke and the two children saw Maloy only one time after he moved overseas. Establishing a new life for himself, Maloy taught and coached basketball for many years and had another son, Ryan. Maloy also enjoyed singing with a group called the Boring Blues Band, and recorded three CDs with them.
In addition to the Williamsons and Kroll, members of the Mike Maloy Scholarship Committee were Doug Cook ’70, Fox DeMoisey ’70, Mike Dickens ’69, Terry Holland ’64, Tony Orsbon ’69, Jan Postma ’70, Tom Ross ’72, Joel Rountree ’71, Bobby Vagt ’69 and Jim White ’67.
This is the third endowed basketball scholarship at Davidson, a concept initiated by former President Ross. The first two were the Wilson Family Foundation Scholarship, and the Thomas L. Powell Jr. ’47 and Jane Cheever Powell Men’s Basketball Scholarship.
Feb. 27, 2011, “Video: Unveiling a tribute to Mike Maloy.”
Feb. 27, 2011, Photo gallery: “Basketball weekend at Davidson.” – Davidson College’s men’s basketball game vs. Greensboro Saturday included several special tributes: It was Senior Day, the last home game for the team’s seniors, and also the scene of a reunion from the team’s Lefty Driesell era. Meanwhile, before game time, the college unveiled a tribute to the late basketball star Mike Maloy ’70. Tim Cowie and David Boraks were there to capture the scenes.
Feb. 26, 2011, “In ‘storybook’ game, Cats top UNCG, give McKillop win 400″
Feb. 24, 2011, “Honoring Mike Maloy – the athlete and the man” – a commentary by John Rogers, a Davidson senior who helped pull together the Belk Arena tribute, a film about Mike Maloy and Saturday’s events.
Feb. 22, 2011, DavidsonNews.net, “Driesell, players return Sat. for reunion, tribute to Maloy”
Feb. 4, 2009, DavidsonNews.net, “Former Wildcat star Mike Maloy dies in Vienna.”
De’Mon Brooks biography at the college’s sports website, DavidsonWildcats.com
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