After taking a glimpse into Casey Nance’s family background, there is no surprise that the University of Dayton senior center has become the star athlete that she is today.
Her father, Larry Nance, was a very talented and recognized NBA superstar who had seven successful seasons with the Phoenix Suns and an additional six seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers before retiring in 1994. In addition to his 13 very successful seasons in the NBA, he won the first ever NBA Slam Dunk Competition in 1984, defeating the great Julius “Dr. J” Erving and earning the nickname, “The High-Ayatolla of Slamola” because of his ability to soar high above the rim and deliver vicious slam dunks. In addition, upon his retirement, the Cleveland Cavaliers honored Larry Nance by retiring his jersey number 22.
Following in his father’s footsteps is Casey’s little brother, Larry Nance Jr. The freshman forward at the University of Wyoming not only carries the same name as his father, but possesses similar abilities on the basketball court. In fact, he has just recently been nominated for Dunk of the Year on ESPN2 for his spectacular dunk against San Diego State on Jan. 24. In addition to the honor of being nominated for Dunk of the Year, it earned Larry the No. 1 play on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays. Being the loving sister that Casey is, she has high hopes for her brother’s dunk becoming the 2011-2012 Dunk of the Year, so visit http://www.facebook.com/dunksoftheyear
to submit your votes for Larry Jr.!
In contrast to her father, Casey is not hurdling over the opposing team to make baskets. Rather, she is soaring above them to prevent baskets. The 6-foot-5 center is second on the UD all-time blocks list with 209 and is closing in on Michelle Kruty’s 222 at first place.
Casey was also the rebound leader in two big Atlantic 10 conference games against Massachusetts and Saint Joseph’s with 10 boards in each game. Nance is also 10th in UD’s record book for rebounds with 698. She needs 16 to move to ninth held by Kendel Ross (2006-10) with 714.
From the amount of success that Casey has had with the Flyers over the years, it is easy to acknowledge basketball as a specialty. But she doesn’t limit her abilities to the court. When Casey graduates in May she hopes to open up her own bakery, specifically baking cupcakes. She and her mom even took a trip to New York City this past year and visited five different bakeries in search for ideas and inspiration.
“Cupcakes are my specialty,” stated Casey, “My dad passed me the basketball gene and I suppose my mom passed me the baking gene, along with a shared love for sweets!”
University of Dayton Athletics Communication student Jordan Martin is writing a feature on each of the members of the 2011-12 University of Dayton women's basketball team throughout the season. This is his 10th feature story of the year.