NBA Champion: Greyhound Jordan Loyd Wins Title with Raptors
Former University of Indianapolis men’s basketball star Jordan Loyd became the first alum to win an NBA championship when the Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in June. The victory also brought the Raptors’ first league trophy in franchise history.
“For Jordan to be on the biggest stage in basketball,” head coach Stan Gouard said, “I’m sure it’s a dream come true for him and his family. This is not only a major accomplishment for UIndy, but for the GLVC and Division II basketball.”
An Atlanta native and 2016 UIndy graduate, Loyd signed a two-way contract with Toronto, quickly becoming a force on the Raptors 905, the G-League affiliate of the Raptors. Over the course of the season, Loyd averaged 22.5 points, 6.1 assists and 5.5 rebounds in 41 games. He was dubbed the SB Nation G-League Most Valuable Player at season’s end.
Loyd also became the first former Greyhound to play at the highest level, seeing action in 12 NBA contests while scoring 29 total points, sinking four 3-pointers and going 9 for 11 at the charity stripe.
“To be the first UIndy men’s basketball player in the NBA is a major accomplishment,” said Gouard, “but to be part of an NBA championship is something he will cherish for the rest of his life.”
Though he did not dress during the NBA Finals, Loyd received national attention for emulating Warriors star and two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry during Raptors practices.
Loyd spent three seasons in a Greyhound uniform, becoming one of the best to ever wear the Crimson and Grey. In 75 games, Loyd scored 1,213 points, grabbed 379 rebounds and dished out 175 assists. He averaged 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, with the former good for 16th in the UIndy career annals.
As a senior at UIndy in 2015-16, he was named to the All-GLVC First Team and GLVC All-Defensive squad, while also claiming D2CCA All-Region Second-Team accolades. He led the Greyhounds to three NCAA Tournament appearances in his time on campus, including a “Sweet Sixteen” berth in 2015.
Loyd is one of a number of former UIndy men’s basketball players playing professionally, including international standouts David Logan and Darius Adams.
Honoring Longtime Greyhound Bill Bright
William “Bill” Bright ’54, former University of Indianapolis student-athlete and longtime coach and athletics director, was honored in April as the baseball field at Greyhound Park was dedicated in his name as Bill Bright Field, commemorating a lifetime of contributions and service to UIndy.
One of Greyhound baseball’s greatest players as a student-athlete, Bright went on to commit more than two decades as a teacher and coach at UIndy, and then nearly that long as the athletics director. All told, Bright devoted 37 years of his life to the University.
“The Bright family is in awe, and so grateful to those who made this tremendous honor possible,” the family expressed in a recent statement. “Bill would be so humbled, as he absolutely loved this University and all that it stood for! Baseball was Bill’s life and Indiana Central was his home.”
In 1950, Bright enrolled at the University–then Indiana Central College–where he pitched for the baseball team and played basketball. He lettered each year in baseball and basketball before signing a baseball contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. He was part of the 1952 ICC baseball team that went undefeated and set nine school baseball records before graduating in 1954.
Bill Bright was the University’s head baseball coach for 20 years and his teams earned several conference championships. He was also the cross country coach for 21 years and assistant basketball coach for 21 years before assuming the head basketball coaching position for five years. He served two three-year terms on the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Committee.
He concluded his 37 years at the University by serving as its athletics director for 17 years before retiring in 1994. He was second-team All-Hoosier College Conference in 1953, a two-time team MVP, an amateur baseball All-American, and the 1954 Walter Brennemen Award winner. Bill Bright was inducted into the University’s Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002.
The University of Indianapolis capped an outstanding 2018-19 sports calendar with another lofty finish in the Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup standings, placing fifth among 308 NCAA Division II institutions. Perennially one of the top athletic programs in Division II, the University has now finished in the Directors’ Cup top 10 in seven of the last eight years and is one of only three Division II institutions that can claim 13 consecutive top-20 showings.
The Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution’s finish at the NCAA Championships in up to 15 sports, four of which must be men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and volleyball.
UIndy officially finished the year with 707 total points, just 14.5 points behind fourth-place Queens (N.C.) and 23.75 shy of third-place West Texas A&M. Meanwhile, Grand Valley State topped the standings with 1,004 points to secure its Division II-leading 13th Directors’ Cup title.
The Hounds’ final tally was boosted by 446 points in the spring, the most in Division II and most ever for UIndy in a single season (fall, winter or spring). UIndy racked up six top 10 showings this spring, including national semifinal appearances from women’s golf, men’s lacrosse and women’s tennis.
Other major contributions came in the form of a third-place performance from men’s swimming & diving at the NCAA Division II Championships, a Sweet Sixteen berth from men’s tennis, an NCAA Super Regional appearance by the softball team and a playoff win from the football squad.
Other notable UIndy finishes came from women’s lacrosse (T-9th), women’s indoor track & field (13th) and women’s swimming & diving (15th).
Dr. Robert M. Brooker Most Valuable Athlete Awards
The 2018-19 University of Indianapolis athletics department year-end awards were highlighted by golfer Pilar Echeverria ’20 (industrial & systems engineering) and track & field athlete Austin Hogan ’18 (chemistry), who each received the Dr. Robert M. Brooker Most Valuable Athlete Award. Each varsity sport’s head coach selected a Most Valuable Player from their respective roster. Those winners were then eligible for selection as the University’s overall male and female Athletes of the Year, chosen by the athletics department coaches and administrators.
The announcement marks the second straight year that Echeverria was named UIndy’s top female student-athlete. After a stellar sophomore year in 2017-18, the junior from Guatemala City, Guatemala, had an even more impressive campaign in 2018-19, racking up a number of program records. Echeverria broke University single-season marks for lowest scoring average (72.5), most individual wins (7), highest winning percentage (.972) and most GLVC Player of the Week honors (5) on the way to becoming the first student-athlete in school history to be voted the WGCA Division II Player of the Year. Other program firsts included a third WGCA All-America First Team nod, a third NCAA Super Regional individual medal and a third GLVC Player of the Year award. In addition, Echeverria led the Greyhounds to an eighth consecutive GLVC title as well as a fifth straight top-three showing at the NCAA DII Championships.
Hogan, meanwhile, wrapped up one of the most-decorated careers in school history this spring. In the indoor and outdoor seasons combined, the hometown product racked up five GLVC event titles, two GLVC Field Athlete of the Year honors and three All-America laurels. He earned national recognition with a sixth-place finish in the weight throw at the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships and later took sixth place in the discus and seventh in the hammer throw at Outdoor Nationals. All told, Hogan amassed seven All-America awards on his time at the University, setting a program record for most career All-America honors in the throws and most individual All-America performances overall.
Mirroring their unprecedented combined success at NCAA Championships, the Greyhounds racked up a school-record 10 titles at the conference level, including nine Great Lakes Valley Conference crowns–a new GLVC mark. The Greyhounds captured league championships in women’s cross country, football, men’s swimming & diving, men’s indoor track & field, women’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s tennis and men’s outdoor track & field on the way to garnering their eighth consecutive GLVC All-Sports Trophy.
The Greyhounds had a stellar season in the classroom as UIndy’s 650-plus student-athletes combined for an impressive 3.32 grade point average in the spring semester. All 21 of UIndy’s athletic programs posted a semester GPA of 3.0 or better, with eight squads finishing above 3.5. The women’s golf team led the way with a 3.709 spring GPA, followed by women’s swimming & diving at 3.693, women’s basketball at 3.683 and men’s tennis at 3.664.
“UIndy student-athletes understand their academics are a top priority,” said UIndy Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Sue Willey. “It is very rewarding to see them excel in the classroom as well as in their respective sports.”
All teams managed a GPA north of 3.0 in the fall as well, bringing the department’s cumulative GPA for the 2018-19 academic year to 3.31.
The Greyhounds capped off the fourth season in program history as the second-fastest team in history to advance to the national semifinal, and the quickest to win multiple NCAA postseason contests. UIndy finishes 2019 with a 16-3 record and sends its inaugural senior class off with a 41-20 overall mark. The team also earned the second straight GLVC tournament title.
The softball team celebrated its annual “Team Ealy Day” with a pair of wins against visiting Bellarmine. The highlight came prior to the victories when the Greyhounds presented the Ealy family with a check for $15,136.46 on behalf of UIndy softball.
The term Team Ealy was adopted in honor of brothers Quinn and Liam Ealy, nephews of Greyhound softball alum Megan Hall. Quinn is a recent cancer survivor and Liam was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at a young age. The Hounds’ total money raised this season marked a record high for the team’s longtime initiative, part of nearly $60,000 raised in the last seven years combined.
The 2019 women’s tennis team ended the season as NCAA Division II Women’s Tennis Championship semifinalists following the best season in program history. The 24-1 final record included 17 total shutouts, with 12 straight before the NCAA semifinal. The 24 wins on the season surpasses the previous mark of 18 set by the 2017 Greyhounds. The 2017 team also set the previous mark of 11 straight wins, with this season’s 24 more than doubling that total.
The women’s golf team finished as semifinalists at the NCAA Division II Championships in May. The Greyhounds officially tied for third place at the championships, recording their fifth consecutive top-three finish at DII’s marquee tournament, a run that includes national titles in 2015 and 2018.