Lefty’s Legacy

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Before there was Bob McKillop, there was Charles “Lefty” Driesell, and before there were Williams, Johnson, Winters, and Curry, there were Lefty’s men: Holland, Hetzel, Snyder, Maloy, Cook, and Kroll.

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By Marc Gignac

Though many athletes played key roles in Davidson’s basketball success in the 1960s, Lefty’s men were the main characters in what Coach Bob McKillop, who played against some of those Wildcat legends as a collegiate player at East Carolina University, refers to as “one of the greatest stories in the history of college basketball.”

Terry Holland ’64, Lefty’s first scholarship player, went on to become his assistant coach. Then came Fred Hetzel ’65 and Dick Snyder ’66, both collegiate All- Americans who went on to play professionally in the NBA. Last summer, Hetzel was inducted into the Southern Conference Hall of Fame, the first Davidson student athlete to earn the honor.

Driesell led the Wildcats to their first NCAA Tournament in Snyder’s senior season in 1966, and the next fall, Mike Maloy ’70, Dick Cook ’70, and Jerry Kroll ’70 arrived on campus. This trio formed the backbone of three consecutive NCAA tournament teams, leading the Wildcats to the Elite Eight in ’68 and ’69, Driesell’s last season at Davidson.

Driesell and many of his former players visited Davidson in late February for a celebration of that storied era and the unveiling of a permanent display in Baker Sports Complex to honor Mike Maloy, Davidson’s first black varsity scholarship athlete, who died in 2009.

Prompted by a significant gift from Cheryle and Joel Williamson ’67, Maloy’s teammate and fraternity brother, the college has embarked on an effort, chaired by Jerry Kroll, to raise $1 million for the Mike Maloy Scholarship.

Read More about the Mike Maloy installation.

Photo: Archives

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