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*Darrell Floyd 2006

 The conventional reasons for Darrell Floyd’s selection for the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame are plentiful, but his qualifications go well beyond the norm, and there have been distinctions beyond his achievements on the basketball courts.     The place to begin talking about Floyd is, of course, his basketball recognition.

As a basketball player at Furman University Floyd was named first team All-America on the Associated Press teams in both his junior and senior seasons 1955 and ’56.  Earlier while he was a student at then Wingate Junior College, Floyd was selected for All-America honors and later to the Junior College Hall of Fame.   

 Floyd’s other achievements included that at his 1956 Furman graduation he owned the second and third best seasonal scoring averages in NCAA history. Those averages were 35.9 his junior year and 33.8 his senior year.     It’s probably worth mentioning that those figures were posted from a six foot one inch frame. And they were accomplished before the three-point field goal rule was adopted and when the common foul allowed only one point on free throws; the one-and-one rule then meant that if the shooter made the first try, there was no second free throw.   

A couple of other conclusions seem certain:  At his height a great percentage of Floyd’s field goals came on outside shooting, and with his 78.3  per cent accuracy on free throws, his seasonal averages would have been appreciably higher under today’s bonus free throw rules, when making the first free throw is rewarded by an opportunity for another point.     

Some of Darrell’s performances came against the best competition Furman was able to schedule, including in his last two college seasons NYU,  N.C. State,  Georgia Tech, St. Joseph’s, Virginia Tech, LaSalle, George Washington, Clemson, South  Carolina and other quality teams.     The NBA, still in its youth, didn’t pay anything close to the millions it now is paying. That is one of the factors responsible for the nation’s two-time leading college scorer never having gone into the league.   

 Floyd had to go into military service right out of college. When he got out of the Army in the spring of 1958 he got a good paying job selling heavy equipment, and he was married to the former Kay Harling. The Atlanta Hawks did not guarantee him more money than he was making, so he did not respond to their invitation to join them.     

He and Kay invested in some sandwich shops and in their own marketing business, and so we had the rarity of a two-time national college scoring champion never joining the NBA. In Greenville Darrell coached a highly successful girl church team and enjoyed a non-NBA life as an active citizen and Furman booster until his death March 8, 2000.   

Darrell and Kay parented three daughters—Diane Odom, Nancy Turner and Libby Floyd. Diane is a Furman alumna and now a business woman in Greenville (SC). She has a son, John. Nancy and Richard Turner are parents of daughter Meredith and son Luke. Nancy was an outstanding basketball and tennis player. Libby, like Nancy, is a University of South Carolina graduate. Libby is a national television host for Shop NBC in Minneapolis and is married to Tony Cane-Honeysett, an Emmy Award documentary filmmaker.

By Dan FosterRetired sports editorGreenville SC NewsMarch 20, 2006

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