DDN: Loudon Love thanks Wright State in emotional video

Excerpt

Loudon Love said goodbye to Wright State University, the men’s basketball program and its fans in a YouTube video released Monday.

Love, a two-time Horizon League Player of the Year who scored 1,792 points in the last four seasons for the Raiders, signed last week with Stade Rochelais, a professional basketball team in France’s third division (NM1), instead of returning to Wright State for a fifth season.

Love looked back on his college career in the video, which was filmed at Wright State’s practice facility. Here’s what Love said:

“Dear Wright State, we first met when I was just 17. Standing 6-foot-8 and weighing over 320 pounds, my large frame and man-like figure couldn’t have been more misleading and deceptive. But at that time, I was only a kid. It is now, as a man, that I reflect on the last few years.

“I want to thank the athletic department for all the work they do for the men’s basketball program: Bob Grant; Joylynn Brown; and all the unsung heroes who do so much behind the scenes so that I was able to excel in my life as a person, in the classroom as a student and on the court as an athlete. To the training staff and my weights coach, I’m forever indebted. Coach Cole (Pittsford), J-Frank (Jason Franklin), I can’t emphasize enough the crucial role that you have played for me throughout my collegiate career. If you know my game, then you know that physicality plays a major part in my style of play, but it is also something that thanks to you guys I have grown to develop and maintain throughout the years.

“I am forever grateful to coach (Scott) Nagy and the rest of the staff for everything they’ve done for me. From simply offering me the chance to play college basketball, to supporting me along the way through all the highs and the lows, I could have never accomplished anything if they weren’t so trusting. I am extremely grateful for all the opportunities you all have given me while wearing the Raider uniform.

“To my teammates, you guys have been the best part of my college experience, whether we were on a winning tear, down at the half in the locker room or simply sitting around chopping it up, no matter the circumstances, I’m proud to say I was part of a true team, something many people don’t get the opportunity to experience. To all of you past and present, thanks for being you and accepting me.

“To the Raider family, from the first time I stepped foot on that floor, I felt your energy and passion. You embraced me from day one, and I can’t thank you enough. In these unprecedented times, it wasn’t easy to go through the entirety of last season with so much uncertainty, but there are some things I can say for certain: that I missed all the ref-heckling fans and that the support that you have shown me has been nothing short of amazing. That’s why I’m saying thank you — not goodbye.

“I will not be returning for an extra year of college basketball, but will instead be beginning my professional career overseas. It breaks my heart that I was unable to end my collegiate career in front of such great fans in the beautiful Nutter Center we get to call home. But I will always carry those memories with me.

“To all those involved, thank you for allowing me to represent Wright State University as a player, as a student, and more importantly, as a person. It will forever hold a special place in my heart. I’ll always have a connection to this place: a connection beyond the records, the milestones and the stats. This is where I grew up. This is where I became a man. And I’ll always be a Raider for life.”

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