NEW YORK - Hall of Fame coaching legends Gary Williams and Jim Calhoun teamed up for “Lunch with the Legends” today at the University Club in advance of the Maryland men’s basketball team’s season-opener against Connecticut at 6:30 p.m. in Barclays Center. The luncheon was hosted by Johnny Holliday, who was joined by national sports broadcaster and Maryland alum Jimmy Roberts.
Williams, who coached for 22 years at the University of Maryland and led the team to a national championship in 2002, shared the challenges and rewards of developing young men in college athletics.
“You have the kids for four critical years,” said Williams during the question and answer session. “It is a big part of their development both athletically and academically and it is a huge responsibility.”
A three-time national champion at UConn, Calhoun spoke passionately about the game of basketball.
“We owe a great deal to the game of basketball,” Calhoun said. “There’s nothing more satisfying than working in the sport you love on a day-to-day basis.”
Williams and Calhoun, in addition to former Maryland players Tahj Holden and Walt Williams, engaged with attendees as they reflected on their respective national championship winning teams. The Barclays Center contest marks the first time the pair of sides will meet since Maryland defeated UConn, 90-82, in the 2002 NCAA Regional finals en route to the national championship.
“It was a fitting tribute to two of the all-time greatest basketball coaches,” Holliday said. “Not only what they have done for their respective schools, but what they continue to do charity-wise in their community.”
Maryland will host UConn tonight at Barclays Center at 6:30 p.m. The game can be seen live on ESPN2 and listened to on the Terrapin Sports Radio Network.