Johnny Dawkins gave a riveting, emotional speech to his UCF team after they lost a heartbreaker to Duke on Sunday. Dawkins’ Knights were millimeters (and a few calls from the officials) from knocking off the tournament’s top overall seed. Instead, UCF fell 77-76 and the veteran coach was forced to talk to a locker room full of despondent players.
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Man, it’s hard to listen to that and not get emotional. You can hear the players sobbing in the background. It’s really a sad but still beautiful moment and it’s what makes college basketball great.
Dawkins led the Knights to a 24-9 record this season, and they were 13-5 in the American Athletic Conference. They bagged a nine-seed in the NCAA tournament and smoked VCU in the opening round 73-58.
On Sunday, they went toe-to-toe with the Blue Devils all evening and fully deserved a win. Dawkins’ son, Aubrey Dawkins was stellar against Duke, scoring 32 points, grabbing three rebounds, dishing out four assists and snagging three steals. It had to be an insanely proud moment for his coach and father.