CHICAGO — Quentin Richardson played only two seasons at DePaul, but his accomplishments — and impact on the school — have earned him a spot in the university's Athletic Hall of Fame.
"It's a huge blessing, a huge honor," Richardson, a former star at Whitney Young and DePaul, told DNAinfo during a phone interview Thursday. "I know the storied tradition that DePaul has. For me to be a part of that hall of fame, it's an amazing accomplishment."
Richardson, a South Side native who played 13 years in the NBA and is now the Detroit Pistons' Director of Player Development, joins fellow Class of 2015 Hall of Fame inductees Kim Williams (women’s basketball), Erin Hickey (softball), Ray Cahnman (men’s tennis) and the 1999 women’s softball team.
Richardson is arguably the last superstar player from Chicago to commit to the Blue Demons. He was at DePaul from 1998-2000 and led DePaul to the NIT in 1999 and the NCAA tournament in 2000. The 18th overall pick in the 2000 NBA draft averaged about 18 points and 10 rebounds in his two-year stint for his hometown Division I team.
"This Hall of Fame accomplishment is a testament in itself to stay and do things for Chicago and DePaul," Richardson said. "For me, choosing DePaul, it just seemed like, No. 1, I was going to be close to home and close to my family. And it was a chance of getting [DePaul's] legacy back, getting the city fired up. That was what really made me sold on DePaul."
Richardson said restoring DePaul's hoops program will depend greatly on recruiting Chicago talent. He believes the new McPier arena in the South Loop, where construction will begin in July, should be extremely beneficial for keeping local players in the city.
"I'm excited about it," Richardson said. "For a lot of years, people would complain a little bit about making the trip to Allstate Arena. That's a little bit away from campus. From what I understand, you'll be able to take the train to the [new arena]. It seems like that would be more convenient. And any time you get a state-of-the-art stadium, that's always a huge, positive thing. It's going to be in the city, and that makes it more attractive."
Richardson, 34, said his current role with the Pistons — mentoring younger players and teaching defense — is similar to the one he had in the latter years of his playing career. Richardson, who played for the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, Miami Heat and Orlando Magic, said he does miss playing but "not as much as I thought I would."
"I miss playing ball because I feel like I could still play," said Richardson, a 6-foot-6 small forward/shooting guard who averaged 10.3 points a game in his career. "Every pro or every athlete, they'd be lying if they said they didn't miss it. But I'm not sore, not iced all the time. I'm still right there on the court, competing. I'm very acclimated and very happy with the position right now."
The formal Hall of Fame induction ceremony and banquet takes place at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at McGrath-Phillips Arena in Lincoln Park. The inductees also will be honored at halftime of Saturday's 1 p.m. men's hoops game against Butler at Allstate Arena, and during halftime of Sunday's 3 p.m. women's basketball game against Marquette at McGrath-Phillips Arena.