Korver-McDermott return to Omaha for Hawks preseason finale


Korver-McDermott return to Omaha for Hawks preseason finale

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Hawks guard Kyle Korver during Hawks media day on Sept. 26, 2016, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton /ccompton@ajc.com

Kyle Korver found something interesting in the Hawks’ preseason schedule when it was released this summer.

The final exhibition game will be played in, of all places, Omaha, Neb. It’s the home of his alma mater Creighton University. It is a matchup against the Bulls, who feature fellow Bluejay Doug McDermott.

This could be fun.

The Hawks are hosted by the Bulls in the city Thursday night in their preseason finale. The game will be played at CenturyLink Center, an arena that was opened the year after Korver left Creighton for the NBA. Korver said he tries to return to Omaha every summer for a chance to re-connect to an important time and place of his life and career.

“College kind of sets you on your track of where you want to go in life,” Korver said. “Obviously, we all evolve, learn and grow but college years are important years. I was fortunate enough to be around a lot of incredible people in the athletic department but also on campus and in the city. So many life-long friendships there. To go back and see a lot of those faces and play in front of those fans again, it will be fun. It creates some excitement.”

Korver played four seasons at Creighton from 1999-2003. He averaged 14.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 27.7 minutes. He left as the school’s fourth leading scorer (1,801 points) and was first in 3-pointers (371), 3-point percentage (.453) and free-throw percentage (.891). He was a two-time Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year. As a senior, he was Second Team All-American and a finalist for the Wooden, Naismith, and Oscar Robertson awards. He was drafted in the second round (No. 51) by the 76ers.

McDermott had a decorated four years at Creighton from 2010-14. He left as the fifth all-time leading scorer in NCAA Division I history (3,150 points). He was a three-time First Team All-American. Like Korver, he was a two-time Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year. He averaged 21.7 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 31.5 minutes at Creighton. He was drafted in the first round (No. 11) by the Bulls.

Creighton recently opened a $13 million practice facility. The practice gym features the Kyle Korver Courts named after the alum. It also features a players lounge that is, at the request of a donor, named after McDermott.

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