A Big East Hoops 24/7 exclusive! Danya Abrams on the past, the present and bonus comments from Coach Biancardi (BC Assistant during Danya’s time) and Malcolm Huckaby (former teammate).
BEH 24/7: Any great memories jump into your head from your Big East days playing Providence?
Danya: “Providence always brought up the competitive nature in me. I remember my junior year going down to Providence and making 20 out of 20 free throws going up against Eric Williams Austin Croshere, God Shammgod and Jamel Thomas.”
BEH 24/7: Explain if you could, how much it meant to go into NYC and win the Big East Tournament in ’97
Danya: “Playing at Madison Square Garden was always the best. How could you not get pumped up for playing in front of your hometown family and friends? We had a great senior year winning the Big East regular season and the Big East tournament down in Madison Square Garden. To this day that still one of the best highlights of my life other than my family I have now.”
BEH 24/7: How did your recruitment breakdown?
Danya: “The recruiting was a fun time. Boston College was always there from the beginning. They saw something in me that I didn’t know I had in me. I was recruited by a lot of colleges, many mid majors, Miami University, UMass Amherst…I can’t remember them all.”
BEH 24/7: Who were the top 5 Big East players you competed against in your playing days?
Danya: “Top five Big East players I’ve played against…that’s a tough one because there’s more than 5 but since I only have 5 I’d have to say Ray Allen, Allen Iverson, Othella Harrington, Kerry kittles, John Wallace, Jason Lawson and Otis Hill…because he knew all my moves and we’re cousins.”
BEH 24/7: Do you keep in touch with any of the guys from your era?
Danya: “We all stay in touch. We see each other at NBA games or at golfing events. I stay in touch with all of my BC players and I see a lot of the UConn players from becoming good friends with Ray Allen. God Shammgod as well. Too many to list that I stay in touch with.”
BEH 24/7: What do you think of the job Friar Coach Ed Cooley is doing?
Danya: “I think coach Cooley is doing an excellent job in Providence. He not only is a great coach but a great mentor. I remember when I finished playing in Europe and came back to Boston College and coach Cooley was on the staff. He treated me as if I was one of his players that he’d recruited and that’s where the friendship bond began.”
BEH 24/7: How can BC keep this game close tonight vs PC?
Danya: “This going to be a tough game for Boston College tonight vs Providence. BC has to control Kris Dunn, stop the offensive rebounds and limit Providence to one shot. Boston College has to hope that Turner, Robinson and Carter have great games tonight to give BC a chance to win.”
BEH 24/7: Who was the most influential person that got you where you are today?
Danya: “A lot of people along the way. First and foremost my family and my high school coach David Olson. Also the BC community; the coaches and academic advisors who believed in me and my uncle George Abrams who push me to the point that made me the man I am today.”
BEH 24/7: After playing hoops at BC & raising your family in the area, do you still consider yourself a New Yorker?
Danya: “Always a New Yorker that will never change.”
BONUS: From former BC Assistant Coach Paul Biancardi and former teammate Malcolm Huckaby
BEH 24/7: What did Danya mean to those BC teams?
Coach Biancardi: “He was the missing piece that we needed to reach an elite 8 in 1994. Four years later he was one of the major reasons we won the Big East championship. He was coachable with a developing work ethic over time. His game was unstoppable in the paint.”
BEH 24/7: What did Danya mean to that 1994 team?
Malcolm: Danya was the missing piece to our success. Really provided interior presence to take pressure off Billy. Did not play like underclassmen.
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