Basketball team inspires

By: Vic Bentley – Junior, Communication

We all know that senior forward Devin Oliver is a fabulous basketball player. But did you know that he also goes out of his way to support students on the periphery of the University of Dayton community as well?

Recently, a student experienced the death of her mother. She was in the classroom talking with her teacher about making up missed homework, when a fellow communication student walked in with a big smile. He stopped by to say hello to his professor. As a basketball player, he had been busy playing in a tournament.

“I just want you to know that even though I was in the midst of my mother’s death, I was pulling for you and I was with you in spirit,” she said. Then, this basketball star and fellow communication student said he was sorry to hear about the passing of her mom and gave her a big hug of support and consolation.

He was the only student at the university that I know of to do so. This magnificent example of a truly inclusive and accepting member of a compassionate Marianist academic community was none other than UD’s Devin Oliver, who with his amazing inspirational heart, has led the Dayton Flyers on a fabulous flight to new heights in the NCAA Men’s’ Basketball Championship tournament in the Elite Eight.

Oliver’s inspirational heart and team spirit have demonstrated to the nation that the University of Dayton is a school with a powerful sense of togetherness and has spurred a renewal of unity and hope within the confines of our own campus. My sincere hope is that UD students will follow his example of community compassion and inclusivity.

Let’s all give Devin Oliver a great big hug or a simple thank you for working so hard and achieving all that he has, and for inspiring us all to show compassion for one another. Even those we don’t normally associate ourselves with.