Not that the Battle of the Bricks ever needs any added significance, but the RedHawks’ upcoming matchup with Ohio will have some anyway.
Miami basketball legend Wayne Embry, 81, will return to Oxford for “Wayne Embry Day” on Saturday. Just like at last season’s “Wally Night” honoring Wally Szczerbiak, Miami Athletics will celebrate Embry and his accomplishments.
“We’re just excited to get [Embry] back, to be honest with you,” head coach Jack Owens said. “Any time you can get a guy of his caliber to come back and who’s looking forward to coming back, it means a lot to the program and what we’re trying to build here.”
Embry starred as a center at Miami from 1955-1958. He averaged 19.5 points and a school record 15.5 rebounds per game and led the RedHawks (then Redskins) to back-to-back Mid-American Conference Championships in 1957 and 1958.
He scored 21 points and grabbed 20 boards in Miami’s first-ever NCAA Tournament victory — an 82-77 win over Pittsburgh in 1958.
Upon his Miami graduation, Embry played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 11 seasons, winning an NBA Championship with the Boston Celtics in 1968.
Embry blazed trails for African-Americans in basketball when he became the NBA’s first black general manager after his retirement. He ran the Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors and won two Executive of the Year awards (1992, 1998) along the way. He still serves as a senior advisor for the Raptors.
He was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Miami Hall of Fame in 1970.
Embry hasn’t completely left Oxford behind since his time here. He served 14 years on the Miami University Board of Trustees, including one as chair.
His No. 23 jersey hangs from the rafters at Millett Hall and remains one of just six retired RedHawk numbers.
Miami hosts the Bobcats at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The first 450 students will receive a free Wayne Embry jersey.