Fans in packed Robins Center celebrate returning A-10 basketball champs

November 21, 2022


Fans gave the Richmond Spider men’s basketball team a standing ovation in the Robins Center earlier this month when members of the 2021-22 team returned to receive their A-10 championship rings. The players gathered at center court in front of a capacity crowd, before the first Friday home game of the season against Northern Iowa.

“It wasn’t always easy, there were a lot of ups and downs, but we feel like we accomplished what we came here to do, which was become champions,” said Nick Sherod, a former guard and 1,415-career point scorer for the team. 

Each member of the 2021-22 basketball team received a personalized championship ring. Along with each player's name and number, the inside of each band is etched with the scores of the four A-10 tournament games won to secure the championship title. During the presentation, banners were unveiled commemorating the 2022 Atlantic 10 conference championship and 2022 NCAA tournament. Fans also watched virtual messages from Spiders Nathan Cayo and Grant Golden.

Four of the Spider star players from the 21-22 season, Cayo, Golden, Gilyard, and Sherod, were granted an extra year of eligibility last year due to the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. They all stayed at Richmond for one more season, and it paid off with the A-10 championship.

Returning from last year’s team are 12 players, including Tyler Burton, Andre Gustavson, and Matt Grace.

The Spiders secured four wins in four days in March 2022 to punch their ticket to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011. The 12-seed Spider team upset Big 10 champion and fifth-seeded Iowa, 67-63, in the first round of the Big Dance to make it to the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament in Buffalo, New York. The Spider community rallied together behind the team with on-campus watch parties and alumni gatherings across the country.

"We just want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting and sticking with us," Sherod told the crowd.