Robert McCurdy (1952 – July 29, 2020) was an American businessman best known for his time as a college basketball player at the University of Richmond from 1973 to 1975. He was the nation's leading scorer during his senior season of 1974–75, averaging 32.9 points per game for the Richmond Spiders.
1 Basketball career
2 Business career
4 See also
McCurdy was native of Deer Park, New York, attended Deer Park High School and graduated in 1970. He enrolled at the University of Virginia on a basketball scholarship, but in 1970–71 college freshmen were ineligible to play varsity basketball, so McCurdy had to play on Virginia's freshman team. He claimed to have scored 30 points against North Carolina's Bobby Jones and 40 against Maryland's Tom McMillan en route to a 38 points per game average that season. He then played for one varsity season as a Virginia Cavalier, but Bill Gibson, the coach who had recruited him, left the school. McCurdy made the decision to transfer to a different school and chose Richmond.
Due to NCAA transfer eligibility rules, McCurdy was forced to sit out for one full year before suiting up for Richmond. In his junior season in 1973–74, he averaged approximately 24 points per game. McCurdy was the team's second leading scorer behind Aron Stewart, who averaged 26.5 points per game, and was named to the All-Southern Conference Second Team. The following year, the last of his collegiate career, he increased his scoring average to 32.9 per game and led all of Division I in scoring. He scored a total of 855 points that season, and on February 26 he had a career high 53-point outing against Appalachian State. Both the single season and game totals are still school records. McCurdy was an All-Southern Conference First Team selection, and the Associated Press named him to their All-America Third Team. In just two seasons at Richmond, he scored 1,347 points.
Kevin Eastman, the starting point guard alongside shooting guard McCurdy, was in awe at his ability to score. Many years later, Eastman was quoted as saying, "Looking back now, it was a remarkable feat. had virtually no quickness. He didn't really have dribbling skills. He couldn't jump that high. He couldn't run real fast. He was a prime example of how will and enthusiasm and effort allowed him to rise to another level." Jokingly, Eastman added, "He worked harder than anybody else on the team, but he was very focused on one skill, and that was shooting. I'm not sure I saw him in a defensive stance all year, and the one or two assists that he got were mistakes."
McCurdy was selected in the eighth round (132nd overall) in the 1975 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. He never played a game in the league, however, and it is speculated that the constant cortisone injections into his foot during his senior year may have scared off teams from giving him a chance.
With professional basketball out of the picture, McCurdy focused on becoming a successful businessman. Later in life, after admitting to skipping classes while in college to work on his jump shot, he said, "I was almost incoherent when I got out of college. Here I was, hoping to be a businessman, and I couldn't even talk basketball." So he hired a tutor to catch him back up to speed in statistics, and within a few years he was a successful employee at Katz Marketing Solutions. He eventually moved his way all the way up to his position of company president.
McCurdy resided in Westport, Connecticut with his wife Cindy. They had four children together, including a son, Sean, who was also a successful basketball player. Sean played at St. Anthony High School for Hall of Fame coach Bob Hurley, Sr. Both Bob and Sean were mentioned in the book The Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball's Most Improbable Dynasty by author Adrian Wojnarowski. Sean was a starter for the undefeated and national champion St. Anthony Friars in 2003–04. He accepted a scholarship to play basketball at Arkansas, but after two seasons transferred to William & Mary (ironically, a big rival of his father's alma mater, Richmond) to finish his collegiate basketball career.
McCurdy died on July 29, 2020 in Connecticut after a battle with anal cancer.
List of NCAA Division I men's basketball season scoring leaders
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