Born to be a Flyer
I’ve never been to the University of Dayton or, sadly, the famous UD Arena. But I have seen every Flyer men’s basketball game played in the Philadelphia area since I was born. I’m Kevin Doerzbacher, a 15-year-old high school freshman from Pennsylvania and a bona fide Dayton basketball superfan.
Thanks to my father Jeff, Class of ’88, Dayton basketball has always been a part of my childhood. I remember the thrill of opening a birthday present to find a bright red Dayton T-shirt. Many nights we got to stay up late to watch the Flyers on TV or listen to the game on WHIO (Dayton) radio.
Last year, I was fortunate enough to attend the A-10 tournament in Brooklyn, New York. Despite the loss we had fun. After the game my dad and I met a few of the players, including Obi Toppin and Trey Landers. Interacting with the players was a totally awesome experience. Obi and Trey were both very engaging and so appreciative that we had come to watch them play.
The Flyers have had a tough spell in Philly the past decade and, until this season, had last won in 2011. It was a struggle to be a loyal fan. I wanted to see them win so badly. My dad told me to never give up on the Flyers, and I’m so glad I didn’t.
I remember sitting in our kitchen with Dad as we waited for the 2019-20 schedule to be announced. When we found out two games in Philly were scheduled at the start of 2020 (La Salle Jan. 2 and Saint Joe’s Jan. 5), I texted my friends right away so they would all save the dates. I knew I was going to start the new year out great!
I attended the La Salle game with my dad, brother and four friends who are now Flyer fans. They proudly wore the new Dayton shirts they got for Christmas. The Flyers played great, ending the game with a 53.5 shooting percentage and a win of 84-58. After the game, my friends and I waited until after 11 p.m. for the team to come out and greet fans. They were so generous with their time, humble and nice. We took pictures with Ryan Mikesell, Ibi Watson and Trey Landers.
A few days later, my mom, two brothers and sister joined us for the Saint Joseph’s game. My mom teaches at Saint Joe’s (but her loyalty lies with UD!). While the Flyers did not shoot as well as they had against La Salle, they played strong in a close game. Forty minutes later, they had their second Philadelphia victory, beating the Hawks 80-67. It was no surprise that the Dayton crowd showed up in force for that game. At every UD game I’ve attended in Philly there have been countless Dayton fans cheering in unison. During the Saint Joe’s game there were many moments when all you heard was “Let’s Go Flyers!” as if they were playing at UD Arena. The support Dayton gets is unreal, and I am blessed to be part of that worldwide support group.