Nov. 28, 2016
David Rivers, an All-American guard at Notre Dame, first-round NBA draft selection and Euroleague Championship Most Valuable Player, will be inducted into the Notre Dame Athletics Ring of Honor at halftime of Notre Dame’s contest with Syracuse on January 21, 2017.
The sixth-leading all-time scorer at Notre Dame, Rivers led the Irish to four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances from 1984-88 while scoring 2,058 points and handing out 586 assists. Rivers’ arrival on campus prompted a move to an up-tempo attack for the Irish during his four seasons, where he dazzled Irish fans with his ability to score in the open floor, shoot from long distance and make behind-the-back passes look routine.
Rivers was selected as the 25th overall selection in the first round of the 1988 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. He played for the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers during his NBA career before moving to Europe and developing into one of the most noteworthy American players to ever compete in the Euroleague. As a member of Olympiacos in Greece, Rivers was named the 1997 Euroleague Final Four MVP when his squad became the first Greek team to win the Euroleague Championship.
Rivers, who served as a team captain during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons, will forever be remembered for his amazing recovery from a life-threatening automobile accident before his junior season at Notre Dame. On August 24, 1986, he was thrown from the passenger seat of a van that swerved to avoid a drunk driver and suffered a 15-inch gash across his abdomen. An emergency surgery at Elkhart General Hospital saved his life and Rivers returned to the court just 90 days later to play 34 minutes in Notre Dame’s season-opening game of 1986-87. Rivers would go on to lead the team in minutes played that season and earn honorable mention All-America honors.
Rivers currently runs ‘David Rivers Camps,’ a program designed to encourage higher learning in pursuit of academic excellence through clinics, motivational speaking and camps in Italy, France, Greece and Rivers’ hometown of Jersey City, New Jersey.
The Ring of Honor was established in 2010 by the University of Notre Dame Athletics Department to honor former and present men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball coaches and players who have made distinguished and noteworthy contributions during their careers at the University.
Previous Ring of Honor inductees include Austin Carr, Luke Harangody, Adrian Dantley, Digger Phelps, Tom Hawkins and Troy Murphy for men’s basketball, while Ruth Riley and Skylar Diggins represent the women’s basketball team. The women’s team will add current assistant coaches Niele Ivey and Beth Cunningham to the Ring of Honor this season as well.