I have a group of guys who are childhood friends who are so special to me. I was a sophomore in high school and this same group of guys got into some legal trouble in 1995, and unfortunately they are still not here today. But these same guys call me all the time just to let me know how proud they are of me. And I love them so dearly.
Last, but not least, Phil Martelli. Phil, as of today, you have 330 wins at St. Joe’s, and you’re the number one all-time. But to be honest with you, those numbers really mean nothing to me. It’s the time you took out to give me words of encouragement and just the things that you’ve done for all the players.
I could possibly write a book just from some of things you’ve done for so many guys that you’ve encountered. And I love you for that.
So for any of you guys who thought I was going to make any reference to 18 points in one minute or 37 in the NCAA Tournament [against Stanford in 1995], you were wrong. I wanted to talk about growing up, people giving me a chance, being a good person with character, and just someone that you can lean on.
- A few excerpts from Marvin O'Connor's speech at the Big 5 Hall of Fame induction ceremony