Raveling Receives Dean Smith Award from U.S.B.W.A.

09 Dec 2021 | 10:19 | Basketball

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Villanova alumnus George Raveling, a member of the Wildcats’ class of 1960, received the 2021 Dean Smith Award from the United States Basketball Writers Association at a luncheon Monday at the Philadelphia Hilton hotel.

The award was the concluding portion of the annual “Philly Six Coaches vs. Cancer” preseason kickoff event held annually featuring the head coaches of all six Division I programs in the Philadelphia region. Villanova’s Jay Wright presented the honor ro Raveling.

“I’m from Washington, D.C.,” Raveling told a ballroom Monday, “but I tell people I’m from Philadelphia. That’s how much Philadelphia, the Big Five and Villanova mean to me.”

Raveling spoke of his admiration for Smith, the legendary North Carolina coach for whom the award is named. He recalled for the audience how for 22 years in his capacity as a Nike executive that it was his responsibility to serve as director for the Michael Jordan camp. And that each time Jordan was asked by a camper who were the most influential individuals in his development he always cited three people: “his mother, his father and Coach Smith”

The Dean Smith Award was created by the USBWA in 2015 to honor the late North Carolina coach. It is a presented annually to an individual in college basketball who embodies the spirit and values of Coach Smith. The award recognizes individuals for more than just wins and losses. Previous recipients include Georgetown’s John Thompson Jr.; Temple’s Fran Dunphy; and Tom Izzo of Michigan State.

Wright noted that a number of Raveling’s former Villanova teammates were in attendance, including Joe Ryan, Jim McMonagle, Bob Liberatore and Don McGinley. In addition a number of Wildcats from Raveling’s stint as an assistant coach serving on the staff of Jack Kraft, including Bernie Schaffer, were also in attendance. Villanova Vice-President/Director of Athletics Mark Jackson and Head Women’s Basketball Coach Denise Dillon were also on hand to help honor Raveling.

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