The Collegian
Friday, June 21, 2024

Spider basketball community mourns loss of Greg Beckwith

Greg Beckwith during his time as a student at the University of Richmond. Courtesy of Richmond Athletics.
Greg Beckwith during his time as a student at the University of Richmond. Courtesy of Richmond Athletics.

On May 25, the University of Richmond basketball program announced that Greg Beckwith, '86, had died a day earlier. He was 60 years old and had dedicated much of his life to the Spiders.

Beckwith was a staple at UR men's basketball games for over two decades. Seated to the right of his longtime play-by-play broadcast partner, Bob Black, Beckwith provided courtside color commentary for the Spiders.

“We are devastated by the loss of Greg Beckwith, who passed away Friday,” the team wrote on its Instagram. “A record-setting point guard, a talented and dedicated broadcaster, a kind and generous spirit, Greg has meant so much to the University of Richmond and Spider Basketball for more than 40 years. We will miss him terribly. Rest in peace, Beck.”

Back in the 1980s, Beckwith helped lead his team to two NCAA Tournament appearances alongside teammate and eventual NBA veteran, Johnny Newman, cementing the program’s reputation as ‘giant-killers’ at the mid-major level in Division I basketball

During his time in a Spider uniform, he won the highly selective Kevin Eastman Award, which was given to “a player that exemplifies the qualities of team leadership, dedication and outstanding play.” 

Beckwith, who was inducted into the Richmond Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003, still sits second on the school’s all-time assists list, which is only fitting given how much he assisted the program he once played for. 

Not only did he help in putting the program on the map as a player, but he helped call hundreds of games for his alma mater, including the Spiders’ 2010 and 2011 NCAA Tournament runs, as well as the team’s most recent Atlantic 10 Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in 2022

At every UR home game, just inches away from Dick Tarrant Court, there was Beckwith. Before tip off, he would greet old friends who passed by. He would shoot the breeze with Black, who he’s known for 40 years, preparing for yet another Spider basketball broadcast. 

This season, Beckwith and his teammates were honored during a game against Davidson College, as the program celebrated the 40th anniversary of their 1984 NCAA Tournament team

That team knocked off eventual NBA Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley and Auburn University in the Round of 64 in a Cinderella story-esque March Madness upset during the 1984 NCAA Tournament.

Countless former and current Spider basketball players took to social media to show their love for Beckwith amidst the news.

2017 A-10 Player of the Year T.J. Cline posted on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, that the Spider family would never be the same with Beckwith gone. 

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Grant Golden, another former Spider from the program’s recent 2022 NCAA Tournament run, also posted about Beckwith on his social media.

“The world lost a spider legend and an even better human being way too soon,” Golden posted on his Instagram story.

Recent graduate and 2024 A-10 Co-Player of the Year, Jordan King, was another who shared his condolences on his social media. 

“You meet people in this basketball world that truly leave an impact on you,” King also posted on his Instagram story. “You are a Richmond legend on and off the court. RIP Greg Beckwith.”

A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade also released a statement expressing the conference’s condolences. 

“Greg was beloved throughout the league as an A-10 Legend, a Richmond Hall of Famer, and a fixture in the media as the Spiders’ longtime broadcaster, and he will be missed on the sidelines,” McGlade wrote, per the A-10’s basketball account on X. “On behalf of the entire league, our sympathy and prayers are with Greg’s family during this difficult time.”  

Contact sports editor Jimmy James at jimmy.james@richmond.edu.  

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