Hawks' facility to bear Dr. Jack's name

Updated: August 27, 2009, 3:36 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

PHILADELPHIA -- Hall of Fame coach Dr. Jack Ramsay was on hand Friday for the formal dedication of the 20,000-square-foot Ramsay Basketball Center at Saint Joseph's University.

Ramsay, now 84, gave Saint Joseph's a national profile by leading the Hawks to 10 postseason appearances during the 1950s and '60s, including a trip to the Final Four in 1961. In 11 seasons, he compiled a record of 234-72.

Ramsay

Ramsay

"I am honored beyond words ... To have a building with your name on it is something very special," Ramsay said.

"Saint Joseph's has been connected with every good thing that has happened to me in my lifetime," he added. "I met my wife here."

Ramsay, a Saint Joseph's alum (class of 1949), later went on to coach four NBA teams -- the Philadelphia 76ers, expansion Buffalo Braves, Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers. His most successful run was with the Blazers, whom he led to the 1977 championship and, in all, nine playoff appearances in 10 seasons.

"There was only one name that belongs on this building," current Hawks coach Phil Martelli said, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

Ramsay retired from coaching in 1987 as the NBA's second-winningest coach and was enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. He continues to do color analysis of NBA games for ESPN Radio.

"The very best coaches are teachers of basketball and life. Jack Ramsay is a Hall of Famer at both," said Bill Walton, the Hall of Fame center who starred on the Blazers' 1977 championship team. "We all loved playing for Dr. Jack, but we loved being with him even more. I can imagine how revered he is at Saint Joseph's where it all began."

The new facility at Saint Joseph's also carries the name of former Hawks players, including "The Delonte West Players' Lounge" and "The Jameer Nelson Locker Room."

The center is the new home of both the men's and women's basketball programs, as well as the athletic department's communications office and the Thomas J. Wynne '63 Hall of Fame room.

"I coached in Puerto Rico for two summers and I remember an expression they had: 'Mi casa es su casa.' 'My house is your house,' Ramsay said. "I say the same about this situation, about that building, the Ramsay Basketball Center. It is your house, too. Mi casa es su casa."