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Former IU basketball player Calbert Cheaney remembers Bob Knight

Former players react to Knight’s passing

BLOOMINGTON (WISH) — Legendary Indiana University men’s basketball head coach Bob Knight died Wednesday. He was 83 years old.

Knight, who won three national championships during his 29 seasons in Bloomington, coached many great basketball players.

One of whom is Calbert Cheaney. Cheaney played for Knight from 1989-1993, and remains the program’s all-time scoring leader, scoring 2,613 points during his collegiate career.

Cheaney spoke to News 8 on Wednesday evening after the news of Knight’s passing became public.

“Truly, truly a big-time loss, especially for all the IU faithful,” Cheaney said. “And those who are true basketball fans.”

When asked how to describe Knight’s legacy, Cheaney made it simple, calling him a “winner.”

“He’s done everything,” Cheaney said. “He’s won numerous Big Ten titles, three national championships, an Olympic gold medal. He’s pretty much done everything there is to do in basketball, and when you’ve done that, he’s truly a legend. He will always be a legend in Bloomington, Indiana.”

One memory that really stands out to Cheaney is when Knight returned to Assembly Hall back in Feb. 2020, the first time Knight had returned to Assembly Hall for a basketball game since he was fired 20 years earlier.

“I think it was huge,” Cheaney said. “He’s always been loved, and obviously, he’s had his controversial moments, but that’s just coach. He’s always worn his heart on his sleeve, and how he is, and how competitive he is, and how he operates. But, for him to come back to Bloomington on that particular night, and get the reception that he received, was truly, truly amazing.”

Cheaney, who currently serves as IU’s director of player development, said Knight’s passing will definitely motivate the program this year, because he, along with every other Hoosier, wants to win for Knight.

“Indiana is Bobby Knight,” Cheaney said.