Daily Dad News
Ray McCallum Jr. Wins Big On Dad’s Birthday, Lands NCAA March Madness Tourney Bid
March 8, 2012
Mike DiNovo/U.S. PRESSWIRE
University of Detroit Mercy standout basketball player Ray McCallum Jr. is lucky to be playing for a coach that’s teaching him the game the right way. That same coach also happens to be his father, with whom he shares a name. Father and son made history last night in the Horizon League championship game by besting top seed Valparaiso, earning a NCAA tournament bid and a nice birthday gift for Ray Sr. as well.
Ray Jr. was a sought after prospect as a star high school player, but spurned offers from larger programs to play for his dad. After last night’s 70-50 win in where he scored 21 points, the younger McCallum seems happy with his choice. “I've been playing basketball since I was 4 years old, and this is the greatest feeling in the world," said McCallum. "Winning the state title at Detroit Country Day was great, but that doesn't compare to this.”
Turning 51 yesterday, Ray Sr. couldn’t have expected such a big win after his team struggled mightily in the first half of the game. However, he rallied his team at halftime and with the help of his son, Detroit will get its first tourney berth in 13 years. Ray McCallum Sr. is only the fifth Detroit coach to make it to the “big dance”; legendary former coach and current popular announcer Dick Vitale did the same in 1977.
A true basketball family, Ray Sr.’s wife, Wendy, is most certainly proud of her son. But she doesn’t pick sides on who was the better basketball player. Ray Sr. was a star high school and college player himself, although he slightly defers to his son’s skills. His wife diplomatically praised them both.
“I don't know for sure, I don't know if dad can stop Ray on the dribble, and I don't know if Ray can stop dad on the shot,” said Mrs. McCallum.
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