January 17, 2019
Sports Article 11444

Bay City's Eric Devendorf has a new message of "positivity" for U-D Mercy cagers. (Syracuse University Photo)

COACH DEVENDORF: BC Central, Syracuse Star Scores High in Detroit Mercy Job

Transformation from Unpredictable Player to Inspirational Leader Seen

January 17, 2019
By: Dave Rogers

There's a new Eric Devendorf in the Motor City.

After a checkered career and playing on multiple international teams, a mature Devendorf is now the special assistant to head coach Mike Davis of the University of Detroit-Mercy Titans.

The player who became known for his sometimes controversial headline-grabbing activities at Syracuse now has a whole new attitude and a message of "positivity."

Writes a Syracuse follower: "Nearing a decade after his last game for Syracuse, jawing with others for the 31-year-old has (mostly) been replaced with motivating others and coaching others. Life post-college, which includes his coming back to SU to get his degree (no doubt a revelation to some) has led to spiritual growth. Devendorf says he tweets positivity to his 25,000-plus followers to "use {the} platform 'Cuse gave me for the better." Through social media or by working in the community, wherever those communities might be, Devendorf wants to create helpful change.

A basketball prodigy from Bay City Central who went on to an outstanding collegiate career at Syracuse before embarking on a seven-year professional career overseas and in the NBA D-League, Eric Devendorf fills the role of Special Assistant to the Head Coach.

Titan publicists view the transformation:

'Devendorf comes to the Motor City after spending the last two years at his alma mater as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the basketball team as well as a mentor to the Orange guards.

His stops overseas included playing in the Ukraine, Israel, Greece and New Zealand. In 2010, he helped the Wellington Saints in the New Zealand NBL win a championship and he also led the league in scoring. He also played in the NBA D-League with the Reno Bighorns in 2009-10 and the Idaho Stampede in 2011-12.

'In the last two years, he has also played competitively in The Basketball Tournament with a group of fellow Syracuse alums on a team called Boeheim's Army, reaching the semifinals in 2017 and the final eight in 2018.

'In college, he starred for Syracuse from 2005-09 and tallied 1,680 career points, 14th in school history. He was named to the BIG EAST All-Rookie team after averaging 12.1 points and 2.3 assists and upped that to 14.8 points and 4.1 assists as a sophomore, where he was an Honorable Mention All-Big East selection.

'He played in just 10 games as a junior after tearing his ACL, but came back strong as a redshirt junior in 2008-09 posting 15.7 points per game, helping Syracuse to a 28-10 record and a run to the NCAA Sweet 16.

'Devendorf played in 116 career games averaging 14.3 points and is fourth in career 3-point baskets at Syracuse with 208, sixth in three-point attempts (550) and fifth in three-point percentage (.378). He also accumulated 372 assists, 170 steals and shot 43.8 percent from the field and 79.5 percent at the free throw line. As a senior, he knocked down 82 three-pointers, the 10th-best single-season total at Syracuse.

Devendorf is a volunteer mentor for youth through the Salvation Army and the Boys and Girls Club. He comments on his goals: "Sharing my knowledge of the game with the youth through my experiences and teachings; Dedicated to making a difference in young kids lives; Improving them on and off the court giving them an opportunity to succeed, giving them confidence to make it in society while staying on course through the ups and downs of life."

Copies of Sports Illustrated from 2007 featuring Devendorf and Georgetown star Roy Hibbert are selling for up to $104 on the Internet.

'He is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse with a degree in Communications. He has two daughters, Madelyn (10) and Miranda (8)."


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