Editor’s note: Ivy Hoops Online contributor Erica Denhoff caught up with former Princeton hoops great Will Venable, who just finished his first season as Boston Red Sox bench coach and reflected on a remarkable two-sport career and Ivy League basketball’s place in it.
Will Venable, Princeton ‘05, shines brightest on the biggest stages.
Against JJ Redick-led No. 5 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Jan. 5, 2005, Venable, a senior guard, played 39 minutes and put on an offensive skills clinic. He scored 21 points, dished out three assists and collected four rebounds in a 59-46 loss for the Tigers. Venable’s athletic defensive play came to the fore as he stole the ball three times from the Blue Devils.
“Venable was terrific tonight,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. ” … He is a heck of a competitor, in the Ivy League or any league.”
“As we go into our league play, I know that Will Venable is going to give me that 100 percent effort for 40 minutes every single night,” then-Princeton coach Joe Scott said.
Almost one month to the day later, Venable demonstrated both coaches described him accurately.