Sixty year of Flyer basketball was represented at the event -- Luke Fabrizius, Bucky Bockhorn, Carmen Riazzi, Jim Paxson (sitting), Bill Uhl, Monk Meineke and Don Donoher.
Dayton, Ohio – The player who was the sparkplug of some of the best men’s basketball teams in University of Dayton history, Carmen Riazzi, has come through in the clutch once more for his alma mater. Thanks to the generosity of the Riazzi family, the men’s basketball offices in the Cronin Athletics Center will be known as the “Carmen J. Riazzi Basketball Suite.”
“I came to the University of Dayton in 1953 from Erie, Pa. on a basketball scholarship,” said Riazzi. “Dayton basketball is very special to me and my family and the Dayton community has been very good to me. These facilities were a need for the University. It means so much to me to be part of this program and I’m so thankful to everyone for being here.”
“Carmen Riazzi was a gritty, ‘whatever-it-takes’ kind of player at the University of Dayton, and a winner,” UD Vice-President and Director of Athletics Tim Wabler said. “We’re very grateful that his name is linked to our basketball program in this way, and we appreciate the support of the Riazzi family. The student-athletes and coaches who pass in and out of the Riazzi Suite will be reminded every day that Carmen and his teammates set the standard for University of Dayton basketball, and did it with a style and class that every team should emulate.”
Riazzi, a 1957 graduate of the University, played on some of the best teams in UD history. During his three seasons in a Flyer uniform, UD won 69 games and went to Madison Square Garden for the NIT each year. The 1954-55 and 1955-56 teams both reached the NIT finals. Those teams were nationally ranked all but four weeks of their two seasons.
The 1955-56 team was ranked #2 in the nation for seven weeks, the highest a Dayton team has ever been ranked. Riazzi was selected team captain as a senior, and led what some called “a rebuilding team” back to the NIT quarterfinals. He was named team MVP.
Riazzi played on teams that included UD Hall of Famers Bucky Buckhorn, John Horan, Don Lane, Jim Palmer, Jim Paxson, Jack Sallee and Bill Uhl.
The Carmen J. Riazzi Basketball Suite will contain offices for the basketball staff, video room, meeting rooms and an academic area. It will overlook the team's on-campus practice gym and is part of the Cronin Athletic Center, which is currently being renovated. The Cronin Athletic Center is part of a comprehensive facility upgrade for University of Dayton athletics. In the last ten years, UD has invested $35 million in its athletics facilities (primarily coming from private donations and corporate support). The on-campus home for every Flyer sports program has been either newly constructed or renovated in that time.