MATT DOHERTY RETURNS
M .......-..- ,.
Doherty was content to be the steady hand on a championship team of stars Sam Perkins ' 84, jimmy Black ' 82, Michael jordan ' 86, and james Worthy ' 85.
"Eighty-two? I was born in ' 79."
Upon reflection, Haywood did recall
seeing Doherty in action. Sort of. "I've
seen a couple of clips, like on ESPN
Classic or something. But I have never
really seen him play. To tell you the truth,
even when I watched then I wasn't
watching for him."
Playing alongside Jordan will do that,
as Doherty learned long ago.
His last coaching job?
Not that the fourth of Mary and Walter
Doherty's five children sought a subordinate
role on the basketball court. His favorite
player was Rick Barry, a do-everything
sort and no shrinking violet.
Doherty concentrated on basketball
even before he finished elementary school
and routinely hung around the courts at
Prospect Park near his East Meadow, N. Y,
home, learning from three-on-three games
involving college players like Kevin Joyce,
Brian Winters, Ernie Grunfeld,John Roche,
Septemb e r / Octob e r 2000
( 1 always like to be
tested. 1 could have
gone to a mid-major
and averaged 20 points
a game. But 1 wanted
to go to North Carolina
and win national
That~ one of the big
reasons 1'm back
at North Carolina.'
MATT DOHERTY ' 84
Tom Riker, Marc Iavaroni and Julius Irving.
"He becanle sort of a favorite of a lot
of the college players," said Davidson coach
Bob McKillop, then a Hofstra player and
soon Doherty's ninth-grade coach at Holy
Trinity, a Long Island parochial school. "The
telling part relative to Matt, he wanted to
know as much as he could about the game.
r do believe he wanted to be an NBA
player very badly. He worked as relendessly
and as feverishly as a player as he does now
as a coach."
McKillop recalls Doherty taking notes
during lectures at a summer basketball
camp, a rare practice, then applying what
he learned years later in the heat of a game.
In time, the 6-8 Doherty became an
offensive star who averaged 27 points per
game as a high school senior. Then it was
on to UNC, where in 1980-81 he and 6-
9 Sam Perkins ' 84 joined a squad led by
Al Wood ' 81, Jimmy Black ' 82 andJanles
"I always like to be tested," Doherty