Former DePaul Great Corzine Remains Versatile

Despite not being blessed with the extraordinary physical gifts possessed by most successful NBA big men, Dave Corzine carved out a 13-year professional career for himself in a league dominated by players with tremendous skill and athleticism.

Soon after helping to lead his DePaul Blue Demons team to the Final Eight of the NCAA Tournament, Corzine was selected by the then Washington Bullets with the 18th pick in the first round of the 1978 NBA draft. Corzine went on to play for a total of five NBA franchises while averaging 8.5 ppg and 5.9 rpg over the course of his career, including a 7-year stint with his home town Chicago Bulls. Corzine's best year as a pro was during the 1982-83 season with the Bulls when he averaged 14.0 ppg and 8.7 rpg.

Although Corzine may have been short on things like leaping ability and quickness compared to many of his more-heralded contemporaries in the NBA, he was long on grit and determination.

The versatility of Corzine's game allowed him to enjoy a long and productive tenure playing in the league, while many players who may have been superior "athletes" came and went. As a 6-11 center, Corzine did a little bit of everything on the basketball court. Scoring with his back to the basket, rebounding, passing and playing solid low-post defense were the staples of his game. However, Corzine also became quite proficient at stepping away from the basket and knocking down mid-range jump shots from the perimeter. This allowed Corzine to pull opposing centers who were guarding him away from the basket, enabling his teammates to take advantage of the open space left in the lane.

Those same multi-dimensional characteristics that allowed Corzine to survive for so long in the cut-throat world of professional basketball have carried over into his life after basketball as well. Since retiring from the NBA in 1991, Corzine has engaged in a wide variety of professional endeavors, including one year spent as the head coach of the Chicago Rockers of the Continental Basketball Association. Corzine also earned his real estate brokers license and his real estate appraiser's certification. He currently owns and operates a retail appliance business in Lombard, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, and also functions as the color analyst during radio broadcasts of DePaul basketball games.

Corzine still looks back fondly on his playing days at DePaul. "It was a great situation for me in school there," said Corzine. "We came in with a great group of guys that we had a lot of success with and most all of my memories about being back in school and being in college and being with the players and coaches and stuff are great memories. Having Coach [Ray] Meyer be the coach and the success we had there, my relationship with Coach Meyer and I think just the friendships I made with Randy Ramsey and Joe Ponsetto and the rest of my teammates there that you still see here and there. Overall it was just a great experience."

Corzine also credits the time he spent at DePaul with helping to prepare him to be successful in the NBA. "I think just in the same way it does for anybody who makes that transition into the NBA, just the competition level and the coaching and your teammates. Just to continue to mature and gain experience and improve."

"It's amazing to me that nowadays that so many of these kids are going straight from high school into the NBA. That would have been, I think, pretty much impossible back in the time when we were playing in the early 70's there. I don't know that there were many guys who could have made that transition. They just didn't advance as quickly as they do now, they didn't play as many games. Now with all of the AAU tournaments all year long with all the advanced training and stuff they do, it's amazing they can make the jump that quickly. But I think back when we were playing, to have that college experience was crucial to get to the next level."

So what did Corzine think of his experience coaching in the CBA? "The CBA was a unique level of basketball. On most other teams, the players want to be there and are happy they're there. In the CBA, they're kind of wishing they were somewhere else all the time, and they were hoping they would get somewhere else very soon. So it was an adjustment for me as far as being able to coach and relate to what their agendas were."

"If you lose your best players all the time in the CBA, you're not going to win a lot of games. It's a strange level of basketball."

And don't look for Corzine to venture into the coaching ranks again any time soon, as he much prefers his role as a broadcaster at this stage of his career. "I don't really want to be involved in basketball on a coaching level. Coaching is just too tough of a job. Those guys dedicate their lives to it. It's a rough business. A lot of traveling around and typically moving from team to team. I went through 13 years of professional basketball, moving from town to town and traveling a lot. So I wasn't really looking to continue that lifestyle."

"But I missed being involved with basketball and being around basketball, so having the opportunity to do radio for DePaul has been great for me. I get to be around some of the players and the coaches and be at the games and be somewhat involved from the sidelines in watching and commenting on the games. It's really been fun for me, and I really enjoy doing it. I'm just glad that Jeannie [DePaul Athletic Director, Jean Lenti Ponsetto] gave me the opportunity to be involved with the program."

Corzine praises Lenti Ponsetto for bringing many of the former members of the DePaul basketball family, such as himself and Meyer, back into the fold with the program since she took over as AD three years ago.

Of Meyer's relatively recent return to the DePaul scene, Corzine says, "Ray is such a great person and so much synonymous with the school that having him be back around is fantastic for everybody."

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