Davey Whitney chosen for hall of fame

Published 12:22 am Friday, March 12, 2010

LORMAN — Former Alcorn State basketball coach Davey Whitney will soon be counted amongst the game’s best coaches.

Whitney, who coached at Alcorn from 1969-88 and again from 1996-2002, was recently chosen for induction into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

Whitney compiled a 550-337 overall record as a head coach, including 495 wins with the Braves.

“We at Alcorn are elated that he’ll be receiving such a prestigious award, because he had prestigious achievements while at Alcorn,” said LLJuna Weir, Alcorn State associate athletic director.

“We have a total of 16 SWAC titles (in basketball), and 12 belong to him, so that says a whole lot.”

Whitney was the first coach to lead a historically black college team to wins in both the NCAA Tournament and the NIT. In 1979, the Braves traveled to Starkville to take on Mississippi State in the NIT, and won the game 80-78. A year later, the Braves beat South Alabama 70-62 in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Weir said Whitney’s induction was a good reflection of Alcorn athletics, and that she hopes the basketball team can return to the winning ways it had under Whitney.

“It’s nothing but a positive note and an illuminating light on our end,” Weir said. “Coach Larry Smith played under Whitney while he was here, and we hope Coach Smith can follow in his footsteps.”

In addition to coaching the Braves, Whitney also coached Texas Southern for five years. He will be inducted into the hall Nov. 21 in Kansas City, and Weir said Alcorn should be honoring him sometime in the future.

“Based on this award, I don’t see why we wouldn’t. It’s too early to plan right now, but I’m sure we will have some type of award ceremony for him as well.”