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New Athletic Scholarship at Davidson Honors Basketball Great Mike Maloy

by Davidson College
Sports Illustated cover featuring Mike Maloy
Maloy (upper right) is the only Davidson athlete ever pictured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Davidson College announced at Alumni Reunion Weekend the establishment of the Mike Maloy Basketball Scholarship in memory of the three-time All-American at Davidson who passed away in April 2009 at age 59.

The $1-million fundraising effort was led by Cheryle and Joel Williamson '67 and Jerry Kroll '70. Kroll and Maloy were teammates, and Williamson also played basketball for Davidson.

Charlotte native De'Mon Brooks '14, a rising junior at Davidson who was voted Southern Conference Player of the Year last season, will be the first recipient of the Mike Maloy Basketball Scholarship.

Bob McKillop, head men's basketball coach at Davidson, made the announcement to alumni gathered in Duke Family Performance Hall to kick off Alumni Reunion Weekend at the college.

The effort to fund the Mike Maloy Basketball Scholarship began in February 2011, when many of Maloy's former teammates gathered for a basketball players' reunion that included unveiling of a tribute wall to Maloy in the Nisbet Lobby of the Baker Sports Complex.

In writing about 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 recruited to Davidson 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. Maloy was one of the first African Americans to enroll at Davidson, and he was the first African-American scholarship athlete. 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.

Tribute wall for Mike Maloy in Baker Sports Complex
Two years ago Davidson unveiled a display in Baker Sports Center honoring the achievements of Mike Maloy.

John Rogers '11, a recent graduate who created a video about Mike Maloy, recalled one of the most memorable and poignant incidents of Maloy's Davidson experience. Joel 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, also a Sigma Chi pledge at the time, said, "It was one of my proudest moments at Davidson."

Maloy was Davidson's most outstanding player in four years of outstanding teams. He led Davidson to three straight NCAA‚Äątournaments, 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.