Former Hoya basketball player ready to race in Daytona 500
He raced his way into one of the final spots for the Daytona 500 this Sunday but before Brendan Gaughan was taking laps at the speedway he was playing division one basketball alongside Allen Iverson, at Georgetown University.
Yep and Allen Iverson even gave Gaughan a shout out during his NBA Hall of Fame induction speech in 2016.
It’s noted that during Gaughan’s time as a Hoya he was put in charge of testing Iverson mentally on the court.
“Chirping, that’s a very nice way of putting it. I enjoyed the chirping. Some days I was on the good end some days I was on the bad end,” Gaughan explained.
“Nowhere in this picture do you scream basketball player. I’m a 5-foot-nothing white boy that played Georgetown basketball. I’ve got 2 Big East Championship rings, I’ve got two sweet 16 a final 8 appearance.”
But boy did his face light up when we reintroduced him to “Wilson” inside the garages on Friday.
“I played basketball believe or not and just for a little extra show for you. I wear my practice jersey (underneath fire suit). I’ve worn them for 20 straight years (while racing).”
Including Thursday night when the 43-year old raced his No. 62 Chevrolet into one of the final spots in Sunday’s Daytona 500.
“You know now that we are in the race, the approach to the race is I try to act as calm, cool and goofy as I am normally but I was not, in the inside I was chewed up, I was nervous (during the qualifying). Now that we are in, the nerves are gone –the practice part his done it’s just on me to do my job get through the wrecks and all I want to do is have a chance like I did last year, I want to be there at the end,” Gaughan added.
And on Sunday you bet, he will be wearing his Georgetown jersey underneath his fire suit yet again.
Partly to remind himself of his unique journey to the track and partly to honor the important life lessons he learned playing for the Hoyas
“(In everything I do) To how I drive racecars, how I treat the guys in the team how I want them to treat me, how I expect people to be—I use John Thompson wisdom everyday of my life and I will use it to the day I am gone,” Gaughan said of his former coach.
No matter the arena or the track Gaughan will always wear his Georgetown pride and he’s hopeful on Sunday he’ll be celebrating with his practice jersey.