Rollie Massimino, who led Villanova's storied run to the 1985 NCAA championship and won more than 800 games in his coaching career, died Wednesday after a long battle with cancer. He was 82.
Massimino's death was announced by Keiser University, where he was still the men's basketball coach. He spent the final days of his life in hospice care.
Best known for that national title at Villanova, Massimino also coached at Stony Brook, UNLV and Cleveland State. He spent the last 11 years of his life at Keiser, where he started the program and turned it into an NAIA power.
"As our campus community deeply mourns the loss of Coach Massimino, we extend our warmest thoughts and condolences to his wife, Mary Jane, and the entire Massimino family," Keiser Chancellor Arthur Keiser said. "We are so truly honored to have shared this time with him and take some degree of comfort in knowing the positive impact he has had on college students for the last four decades remains immeasurable."
Massimino faced numerous health issues in recent years yet never stopped coaching. And even though he left Villanova 25 years ago, he was still considered family by the Wildcats and coach Jay Wright.
"If not for Rollie Massimino, I'm not even a part of this," Wright once said. "If not for the Big East, Rollie Massimino is not Rollie Massimino. I know it. He knows it. And if not for the Big East, no one knows about Villanova."
Wright was given a championship ring from 1985, and Massimino was given a championship ring from 2016. Wright wasn't working at Villanova during the first title season; Massimino wasn't officially there for the second one. But Wright worked Massimino's camps in the mid-1980s before coming to Villanova, so that made him part of the family.
"When you're a young coach and you grow up in Philly, Rollie Massimino is a legend to you," Wright said.
Cavs finalize Irving deal
The Cavaliers finalized their blockbuster deal with Boston involving All-Star guards Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas by getting another draft pick from the Celtics, according to ESPN.
The Cavs will get a second-round pick in 2020 to complete the package.
The Cavs had balked at pushing the trade through last week after Thomas underwent a physical. He tore a labrum last season in the playoffs. Cleveland wanted Boston to sweeten the deal.
Irving demanded a trade in July and the Cavs pulled off the swap by sending their second-best player to the Celtics for Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and an unconditional first-round pick next year.
... The Sixers signed power forward James Michael McAdoo to a two-way contract and agreed to terms with guard James Blackmon Jr. McAdoo, a 6-foot-9, 230-pounder who played in college at North Carolina, went undrafted in 2014 and played with the Warriors the past three seasons, seeing action in a total of 108 games. He can boast both G-League and NBA championships, having averaged 3 points and 1.7 rebounds in 7.9 minutes with Golden State.
AROUND THE HORN
WNBA: Skylar Diggins-Smith had 28 points and eight assists and Glory Johnson added 25 points as Dallas secured a playoff spot with a 99-96 victory over Chicago.
NHL: Arizona captain Shane Doan is hanging up his skates, leaving as one of nine NHL players to play at least 21 seasons with the same franchise. Doan is the franchise's all-time leader with 1,540 games, 402 goals, 570 assists and 128 power-play goals.