SALT LAKE CITY — Anybody who needs to get into Columbia, S.C., should seek out Tyrone Corbin.
The Utah Jazz coach and South Carolina sports hero will receive a key to his hometown city this afternoon when he is honored by Columbia.
"We are proud to have this opportunity to celebrate Tyrone Corbin and all he has accomplished both on and off the court," Columbia mayor Steve Benjamin said in a release put out by the Jazz. "He is one of Columbia's brightest stars and an example to our children of what is possible if you work hard and dream big."
"Congratulations to Ty," Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said. "This is a well-deserved honor for someone who has excelled in life as well as his chosen profession of basketball."
Corbin, who replaced Jerry Sloan as the Jazz's head coach in February, rose to local celebrity status while playing prep hoops alongside eventual NBA player Xavier McDaniel at Columbia's A.C. Flora High School.
Columbia took pride as Corbin furthered his basketball career in Chicago at DePaul University for four successful seasons and in the NBA for 16 years. At DePaul, the computer science major twice earned honorable mention AP All-American honors.
Corbin then played for nine different NBA teams between 1985-2001, averaging 9.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. The forward, drafted 35th overall by the Spurs in '85, played for the Jazz between 1991-94 and was affectionately called "The Milkman." He also played for the Spurs, Cleveland, Phoenix, Minnesota, Atlanta, Sacramento, Miami and Toronto.
Corbin has been with the Jazz as a coach since 2004, including seven years as one of Sloan's assistants. In 2010, he finished second in voting by NBA general managers for the league's top assistant coach — finishing behind then-Jazz assistant Phil Johnson.
After his playing days, Corbin also spent one year as the New York Knicks' manager of player development, following a two-year stint as a player mentor for the D-League's North Charleston Lowgators.2 comments on this story
Corbin will receive his key and have a proclamation presented to him at a city council meeting this afternoon in Columbia's City Hall.
"Tyrone Corbin is a shining example of a scholarly athlete who successfully merged his talent with his education to propel him into the highest ranks among the National Basketball Association," Columbia councilwoman Tameika Isaac-Devine said. "We are proud of his accomplishments, and his story is a great model for the young people of our community."