Former Dayton basketball star Sean Finn was eager to see some familiar sights when he returned to UD for a couple of games recently, but the 7-footer had a hard time finding anything that looked familiar.
UD Arena is constantly being spruced up. The old PAC building has been turned into the Cronin Center and is home to posh new offices for men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball. And the ever-expanding campus (Dan Curran is the Donald Trump of college presidents in the way he scoops up real estate) has gotten a serious makeover since Finn graduated in 2004.
“I can’t believe how nice the arena has gotten. And campus was the biggest transformation,” Finn said. “All the houses in the ghetto are nice and painted. The PAC is completely changed. All the dorm rooms, restaurants, everything has changed. These kids have got it pretty good.”
Finn has had it pretty good himself since leaving UD. He’s been playing pro basketball around the globe and, at age 31, may be ready to settle down and take what he calls a “big-boy job” in his adopted hometown of Kansas City, Mo.
“It’s been a good run. I made it out healthy. I can still walk,” he said with a chuckle. “Nine years is a pretty long time. I believe I’m done. I’m not going to say I’m 100 percent done. But I’m going to be very selective if I do end up playing.
“It was nice just to see the world. You meet a lot of different people and experience many cultures. Naturally, some places were better than others. Overall, I appreciated it. When I’m finally done, I think I’ll look back on it and appreciate it even more. It’s nice to be able to play a game for a few hours a day and make a living.”
Finn, who helped the Flyers to NCAA tourney appearances in 2003 and ’04, is one of more than a dozen former UD stars playing professionally on international teams. After being cut by the New Orleans Hornets, he played in Poland, Austria, Turkey, Germany, the Ukraine, Switzerland and, finally, Venezuela.
Having graduated with a degree in economics, Finn handled his money well and can be choosey about what he does next.
“I was able to amass quite a lot of savings where I’m OK not working for a while,” he said. “I’ve bought a place. I’ve got a couple cars paid off. No debt or anything. … And I was realistic. Basketball isn’t a thing where it’s a lifetime career. It’s a very small window of your life. I made preparations for life after basketball.”
‘Scoochie’ named: UD recruit Dayshon “Scoochie” Smith will play in the regional game in the Jordan Brand Classic tripleheader at the Barclays Center on April 13. The 6-foot-2 guard will compete with the top players from the New York metropolitan area in a “City vs. Suburbs” clash.
The roster in the All-American game includes the top 10 recruits in the ESPN ratings. Former UD star Chris Wright was selected in 2007. The event also will include an international game.