NBA Champion James Posey Returns To The Xavier Campus

James Posey is the first Xavier University graduate ever to win an NBA Championship.

James Posey is the first Xavier University graduate ever to win an NBA Championship.

Sept. 7, 2006


CINCINNATI --- James Posey, 1999 Xavier University graduate, was back on campus at Xavier on Thursday afternoon along with former XU teammate Reggie Butler. The duo got a chance to work out and play at Cintas Center with many of the current Musketeers. They also received some individual skill assistance from Sean Miller and the XU coaching staff.

This summer Posey became the first Xavier graduate to win an NBA Championship when he played a major role in helping the Miami Heat win the 2006 NBA title.

Posey ranks 16th on Xavier's all-time scoring list with 1,455 points and 10th on Xavier's all-time rebounding list with 801. Posey led XU in rebounding in each of his three seasons as a Musketeer.

Posey earned a long list of honors while at Xavier, including the 1998 Atlantic 10 Championship "Most Outstanding Player" Award in helping XU win its first-ever A-10 Tournament Championship. Posey earned the A-10's "Sixth Man Award" twice and was named 1999 A-10 First Team and 1999 A-10 Defensive Player of the Year.

The Denver Nuggets selected Posey with the 18th pick in the first round of the 1999 NBA Draft. He played in Denver, Houston and Memphis before being traded to Miami prior to the 2005-06 season. He played in 67 games during the regular season, starting 63 times despite losing time due to injury. After getting healthy and returning to the lineup he took on the "sixth man" role he perfected at Xavier, averaging 7.3 ppg. and 5.7 rpg. in 27.5 minutes per game in 22 appearances.

Thursday he sat down with Xavier's Tom Eiser to discuss some of his ties to Xavier University:

On what he remembers most about Xavier University:
"It's like a close-knit family. That's what I remember best about Xavier. Everyone cared about you. I always got the sense that everyone at the University was in it together. It started in the classroom with (Academic Advisor) Sr. Fleming keeping me grounded. I was the first person in my family to get a college degree. After everything that my family and Sr. Fleming sacrificed I didn't want to let them down or be the one to mess up the graduation reputation at Xavier."

On learning to be a winner at Xavier:
"At Xavier I learned about the importance of having that competitive nature and pushing myself to the limit on and off the court. It's very personal and it gives you a sense of pride in whatever you are able to do on the court and in the classroom. My time at Xavier strengthened my belief in myself and my will to win. I got a good taste of success and winning on the court and in the classroom at Xavier. Once you get that taste in your mouth you want more of it. I thought about that this year in Miami. I felt like I was back at Xavier, taking charges and having that competitive fire. Once you learn that will to win you want to do whatever you can to keep winning."

On learning to play a role like he did so well at Xavier:
"Everybody was the man at one time or another. The guys in college were the man in high school. The guys here in the NBA were all the man in college. You have to learn to make sacrifices if you want to win championships. Sometimes that means sacrificing yourself and doing the best with your situation. I know guys like Shaq (O'Neal) and Dwayne (Wade) are the main guys in the spotlight. That doesn't bother me because I never have been one to search out the spotlight."

On keeping up with the current team:
"I still follow Xavier when I can, especially the Crosstown Shootout. I am good friends with (former Cincinnati star) Nick Van Exel and that always comes up every year."