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    With Muhammad Ali passing this week, the city has been buzzing with memories of the man and legend. Stories of run-ins and experiences with Ali can be heard on every corner, including a memory from Scott Davenport, Bellarmine University’s head basketball coach.

    In 2010, Bellarmine's basketball team won the Division II NCAA championship for the first time in school history. The team had something to be proud of for the rest of their lives — they were on top of the world. This championship led to them getting an opportunity to play the Duke Blue Devils at the start of the 2011 season. Duke ranked among the elite annually and Bellarmine was unable to pull off a huge upset over the Blue Devils. Despite this, the team went home with an amazing story to tell back home. On their flight back to Louisville they would receive what Davenport called “the memory of a lifetime.”

    Upon their arrival at the airport, the team ran into “The Greatest” himself, Muhammad Ali. Their whole team was in shock. There were players on their team from all of over the country, but they all knew they were in the presence of “the most famous person in the world,” as Davenport put it.

    The players and coaching staff all took pictures with Ali. It was an amazing moment to lift their spirits after a tough loss.

    Despite Ali not being in the best health at the time, Davenport said he could still see there was no pain in his eyes. He brought a certain sense of happiness to the entire room.

    Davenport also expressed how professional and respectful his players were of Ali, which showed the character of his basketball team. This may not seem like a big deal, but not just any young man could have handled a situation like this. It truly shows the standard he has set for his team and organization.

    Stories like this are why we love Ali. Too many, he embodied a selfless person who wanted nothing more but to bring a smile to people and make the world a better place. He will be missed.

    Photo: Bellarmine University

    Rob Niece's picture

    About Rob Niece

    University of Louisville Senior / Journalist / Human.

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