Ferry’s Godrey reflects on induction

Former Martins Ferry basketball standout Ron “Cy” Godfrey described his recent induction into the Atlantic Coast Conference Legends Class of 2012 in one word … fantastic.

“Outside of family functions, this was the best function I’ve ever had in my life,” he said Friday morning after eating breakfast at the First Ward Restaurant on South Fourth Street.

Godfrey, who played and coached basketball at the University of Miami (Fla.) was on his once-a-year visit to the Purple City where his sister still resides. He was visiting with long-time friend Fred Burda, who himself was a prep hoops star at St. John Central.

Godfrey’s induction into the ACC was kind of surprising because he never played one game in the legendary conference, which is widely known for its great basketball tradition.

“We played the ACC teams, but we were an independent school back then,” Godfrey recalled. “Now, Miami is in the ACC, so they went back and looked at everyone that played there.”

When asked what his most memorable moment at Miami was, either playing or coaching, he said, “neither.

“Truthfully, I met my wife (Sharon) down there, and she was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

During his prep days for the Purple-and-White, the 6-5 Godfrey tallied a still-school record 1,300 points. Then, at Miami, he netted 1,384 markers from 1958-61, earning All-American honors following his senior campaign.

He was a member of the Hurricanes’ 1960-61 team that advanced to the NIT Tournament with a 20-7 record.

“Those teams down there, we were like family,” he recalled. “That 1960-61 team, we did everything together. We played together. We practiced together. We ate together. We went to the movies together.”

While in the Sunshine State, he had the opportunity to coach one of the finest to ever play the game, no matter what league. That would be none other than Rick Barry, who was famous for his underhand free throws.

“He shot them like that before he came to Miami,” Godfrey was quick to point out. “He was a great player, though.”

Godfrey said that Barry was, at one time and could still be, the only player to lead the NCAA, ABA and NBA in scoring.

“He was that good,” Godfrey allowed.

Godfrey resigned as coach of the Hurricanes after the 1971 season. However, little did anyone know that would be the last game Miami would play until 1985 as the program went ‘dark’ for 14 seasons.

“That was really terrible,” he recalled. “But it was just one of those things that happened. It was a shame.”

In addition to his recent induction, Godfrey was previously enshrined into the University of Miami Hall of Fame in 1998.

Godfrey now resides in Coral Springs, Fla., with his wife. They have one daughter, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

But, he still hasn’t forgotten where he came from.

“It all started here in Martins Ferry,” he told me in a prior interview.

North can be reached at knorth@timesleaderonline.com