It appears likely Nobal Days will remain committed to Tulane University after the dismissal of the coach who recruited him.
Mike Dunleavy, who signed the 6-foot-9 center from Park High School last fall, was fired Saturday after three years as coach of the Green Wave. Dunleavy, whose head coaching stops included the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers, had three consecutive losing seasons after receiving a six-year contract in March 2016.
Tulane went 4-27, including 0-18 in the American Athletic Conference, last season. On Saturday, it was announced that Dunleavy and Tulane had, “parted ways.”
Could Days see himself possibly decommitting?
“Right now, I’m just taking it day by day,” he said. “I’m really just waiting to see who the next coach is. That would be unfair to decommit when they don’t have anybody.
“Right now, the plan is to stay committed and just wait to see who the new coach is.”
Tulane is certainly doing what they can to keep Days. And the Days family is listening.
The day after Dunleavy’s dismissal, Days’ father, Al, received a call from Tulane Senior Associate Athletic Director Rob Bernardi. The reason for his call was to reinforce the school’s interest in Nobal.
“It was a good conversation to have the AD call and give a little insight,” Al Days said. “They talked about their commitment to Nobal. It was really kind of nice because they talked about their commitment to Nobal as a student and Nobal as an athlete. And I think that as a parent, that was a real nice conversation to have with him.”
The bottom line is that Nobal Days is an honor student — he has a 4.1 grade-point average — who is going to college for more than just playing basketball. He was impressed with the university during his official visit to the campus last year and those memories have stayed with him.
“When our family was recruited by Tulane, we were very impressed by coach Dunleavy and his staff,” Al Days said. “So it’s a sad situation. But the one thing that Nobal said (Sunday) night as we were talking about it was, ‘Well, do you know what, dad? I did commit to the university and not just to the basketball team.’
“He’s kind of at that point where, yeah, it’s a disappointment, but he likes the school, too. Of course, I’m thinking of basketball and he was thinking of the bigger picture of school, too. He said, ‘I love coach Dunleavy and the coaches, but I love the school, too.’ “
Days, a four-year starter, averaged 10.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 3.1 blocks and 1.5 assists. Park went 17-6 and advanced to a WIAA Division 1 regional championship.
“You’re talking about a true student-athlete,” Park coach Jim Betker said. “He was kind of like the mayor of Park. Every kid loves Nobal.”
Days will resume competing in track and field after playing AAU basketball last spring. As a sophomore in 2017, he placed 10th in the high jump at the WIAA Division 1 State Track and Field Championships with a height of 6-4.
“I just want to have another sport to have fun in where there’s not too much pressure,” Days said. “Hopefully, I can start off where I finished at and try to have as much fun as I can before this senior year is over with.”