Purple Aces basketball fans are buzzing with excitement for the 2018-19 season already. And though the team won’t hit the court for their first game for a few months, the city can’t stop talking about University of Evansville’s new men’s basketball coach, Walter McCarty.
“I don’t think you can contain the excitement to just the UE community as Walter has people from all around the Tri-State pledging their support,” says UE director of athletics Mark Spencer.
Highlighted along with Calbert Cheaney in the story “Fieldhouse of Dreams” in the May/June 2000 issue of Evansville Living when they joined the NBA’s Boston Celtics, McCarty returns home to take the helm of UE’s men’s team after the departure of Marty Simmons. A Harrison High School and University of Kentucky graduate (and a member of UK’s 1995-96 “Untouchables” basketball team), McCarty comes to UE after serving as assistant coach of the Boston Celtics since 2013.
He also has held assistant coach positions at the Indiana Pacers (2010-11) and the University of Louisville. He began his 10-year NBA playing career in 1996 as the 19th overall draft pick (New York Knicks) and saw time on the court playing for the Celtics, Phoenix Suns, and Los Angeles Clippers.
“I’m excited about getting the team and the university involved with the community, and about just being here, being home,” says McCarty. “Also, being around these young men; helping them prepare for the upcoming season, but also to do well on and off the court. I’m excited about the group we have and the staff I’ve hired. We’ve got some really good guys.”
As the spring semester for UE comes to a close, McCarty says he and his team have already been hitting the court. Along with practice sessions, the new coach and his staff are working with the players on becoming familiar with his coaching methods, something McCarty looks forward to carrying over into the fall season.
“It’s great to see all the purple and orange, going out and seeing the buzz about the season,” he says. “It makes it all worth it being home.”
For more information on the UE men’s basketball team, visit gopurpleaces.com.