IU’s Al Durham sends out a goodbye

Indiana senior guard Al Durham sent out a goodbye Friday.

The native of Lilburn, Ga., had the option of returning for another senior year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he took to social media Friday afternoon to say “Uno Out, Thank you.”

This wasn’t completely unexpected. Durham was honored during IU’s Senior Day versus Michigan, and in the hours following the Hoosiers’ loss in the Big Ten tournament, teammates started to say their farewells.

IU freshman Jordan Geronimo was one of the first, tweeting out a “thank you” message Thursday night.

Thank you (Al Durham) and Cooper Bybee… Y’all taught me things that I can’t even put into words.”

The well wishes continued Friday for a 1,000-point scorer who was greatly admired by his teammates and people around the program. Not a highly rated recruit coming out of high school, Durham initially committed to IU when Tom Crean was the coach, but he stuck with the Hoosiers after Archie Miller’s hire.

It was four years of ups and downs, but Durham was widely considered an overachiever despite his slight frame. He also maintained a pleasant and hard-working attitude. Parker Stewart, a grad transfer from UT-Martin, tweeted “I never got to play with (Al Durham) but he’s one the best teammates I’ve ever been around. I never heard him complain or be selfish one time.”

IU does have depth in the backcourt, led by sophomore Armaan Franklin, but much of the rest is unproven. Stewart could play a key role off the ball, as well as current freshmen Anthony Leal and Trey Galloway. At point guard, junior Rob Phinisee and freshman Khristian Lander are still on the roster.

Durham struggled at times in 2020-21, but he finished the year strong as a shooter. He hit 20-of-41 from beyond the arc in his final 12 games, finishing the year as a 38% shooter from deep. Durham hit 38.8% from the field overall, scoring 11.3 points per contest.

Miller praised Durham for his improvements as a defender, but also just his demeanor as a player and person.

“You go through a lot of ups and downs as players, and Al is a special player to me,” Miller said. “He’s as loyal as it gets, he’s as coachable as it gets, and he’s as hard of a working guy as you’ll ever be around.”

4 comments

  1. Tremendous young man. A true warrior with zero quit.

    Character doesn’t always show up on the scoreboard. It’s more a nurtured game where results stand the test of time.

  2. Al, I can’t think of better tributes to a man than the ones your teammates have given you. Congratulations, and thank you for sticking it out at IU in spite of less-than-ideal circumstances. I wish you all the best in your future and am confident that you will go on to great success.

    “It is not the critic that counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

  3. Thank you Al Durham.
    Your teammates have said it all.
    Good luck in your future, IU is proud you came and played hard here.

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