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Irish Insights


Emotional Carr added to Ring of Honor

Flanked by boxes of Kleenex, former Notre Dame star basketball player Austin Carr could barely express how he felt about being added to the Ring of Honor in Purcell Pavilion at halftime of Saturday night's game against Seton Hall.

"Well, glad to be home," Carr said at a news conference.

Carr is the third player to be honored in the Ring, joining Luke Harangody and former women's player Ruth Riley. The Ring was conceived when Notre Dame renovated its basketball arena is honors past players from the men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams.

But the honors bestowed on the Irish's all-time leading scorer didn't stop at the Ring. The university also announced that the lower concourse in the Joyce Center would be named the Austin Carr Concourse. The lower concourse will be renovated to depict the accomplishments of former Irish basketball and volleyball players.

"I don't see myself in that light," Carr said of the honors. "I came here to try and help win a championship in basketball, but I was a football man. To see all the guys who have played here in the past, to have this type of honor bestowed on me, it's kind of surreal. For me to be put in that category, it's hard for me to handle."

Carr's 2,560 points is still the most by a Notre Dame player, and his 34.6 points per game average is also a program record.

Carr played for Notre Dame from 1968-71 and failed to score in double figures only twice in 74 games.

As a sophomore, he averaged 22 points in 16 games as he was slowed by a broken foot.

The 6-foot-5 guard joined LSU's Pete Maravich as the second player to score at least 1,000 points in a season, finishing with 1,106.

He also set a record that stands today, scoring 61 in a 1970 NCAA tournament game against Ohio University.

"I shot I can remember I was posting up at the foul line, and I made a left-handed hook," Carr said. "Then I remember the last shot to break the record, it hit the back of the rim went straight up into the air and went straight back down."

As a senior, Carr scored more than 1,000 points again, was named a consensus All-American and was named player of the year by The Associated Press and United Press International.

He was also part of Notre Dame's upset 89-82 victory over UCLA that year (1971). Carr scored 46 points as the Irish ended the Bruins' 88-game winning streak.

"That was just off the chart," Carr said of the victory over UCLA.

Carr was fifth on the all-time NCAA scoring list when he finished his career at Notre Dame. He inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Carr was drafted first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1971 draft.

He played nine seasons in the NBA, averaging 15.4 points, and now works as the director of community relations for the Cavaliers. His number was retired by Cleveland.

And now the same No. 34 is in a place of honor at Notre Dame.

"We felt like this was the right time, the perfect time, to honor the man synonymous with Notre Dame basketball," Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said.

The Journal Gazette's Assistant Sports Editor Tony Krausz covers The University of Notre Dame. Krausz, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a native of St. Louis, has been assistant sports editor since October 2005. Prior to joining the JG, he worked at two papers in Mississippi covering high school and college athletics.