Dayton center Steve McElvene dies at age 20

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Our hearts are broken today with the tragic news of the passing of 20-year old Dayton center Steve McElvene.

The New Haven, Indiana native was home when he died this Thursday. The cause of his death has not been confirmed.

“We are devastated at this news,” Dayton coach Archie Miller said in a statement. “Any death is a tragedy, but for someone so young who worked so hard to have his dreams within reach, it’s hard to put into words how painful this is. Our hearts and prayers go out to Steve’s family. My family, our team and our staff will have to pull together, not only in support of Steve’s family, but in support of each other at this terrible time.”

McElvene established himself as a force his redshirt freshman season with the Flyers and a promising piece for UD’s future, blocking a single-season school record 55 shots while rankings 16th nationally in blocks percentage in his first year of D1 college ball.

The 6’11 268lb center started 17 games for the Flyers and dropped a career-high 14-point, 16-rebound, 4-block performance in just his seventh game at Dayton. McElvene averaged 6.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks this past season.

“The entire Atlantic 10 family is heartbroken over the loss of Dayton’s Steve McElvene,” Atlantic 10 commissioner Bernadette McGlade said in a statement. “He was an exceptional young man with a bright future, both on the basketball court and in life. A life cut short is tragic for all. The prayers, thoughts and support from the A-10 community go out to the University of Dayton, Flyer Men’s Basketball and most especially to Steve’s family.”

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Mat Shelton-Eide has been involved in college athletics since 2007, starting as a co-founder of VCURamNation.com where he covered the Rams all the way to Houston as the one-time CAA darling shocked the hoops world with a historic run to the Final 4. He has worked within two Atlantic 10 athletic departments, first as a graduate assistant in the VCU Sports Information Department during the '09-'10 basketball season, then after receiving his M.Ed. from VCU's Center for Sport Leadership, as a ticketing and marketing intern in the University of Richmond's athletic department during the inaugural season of Richmond's Robins Stadium, months before the Spiders 2011 Sweet 16 run.

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