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David J. Phillip, AP
Creighton head coach Greg McDermott hugs his son Doug McDermott (3) as he leaves the game during the final moments in the second half of a third-round game against Baylor in the NCAA college basketball tournament Sunday, March 23, 2014, in San Antonio. Baylor won 85-55.
It’s been an incredible journey, and I really wish every parent could experience what I’ve had the opportunity to experience. —Greg McDermott

During the past four years, Greg McDermott has coached his son Doug McDermott at Creighton University — the highlight of his career. But Sunday night, with the loss to Baylor University, father and son embraced for the last time on the court.

Although the loss in the NCAA tournament came earlier than both would have liked, they didn't linger on the disappointment.

"Walking off that floor was a tough moment, but at the same time, it was one of the best moments because everything that’s happened the last four years," Doug McDermott said during the post-game press conference Sunday.

"I wasn’t even thinking about the game at that point. (My dad and I) had so many special memories together. ... It’s the last time I’ll be able to walk off the floor and give my dad a hug."

Doug McDermott surprised many by returning to Creighton for his senior year instead of pursuing a career in the NBA, but it was a choice he and his dad stand by.

“Doug made a mature decision to come back to school for his senior year,” Greg McDermott told the Gazette.

“I gave him two charges. Number one, if you come back, we are going to enjoy this. There will be a lot of pressure and false expectations. Your game is going to be dissected like never before. Enjoy teammates, your family and your university.

"Second, let’s get better. Let’s add to your game and prove to people that you can do what you do against longer, better competition in the Big East. To Doug’s credit, he has done both. He has enjoyed this experience. Both as his coach and his father, I couldn’t be more proud.”

Throughout Doug McDermott's career, he has continued to not only impress his dad and coach, but many fans and viewers as well.

"McDermott is a throwback," ESPN's Jeff Goodman wrote.

"He hasn't flashed the 'Three Goggles' gesture after any of his 226-career trifectas. He doesn't scream or yell after one of his picturesque step-back jumpers, and he doesn't stare defenders down after making them look foolish with any one of his array of post moves. He just plays the game. The right way."

After the father-son duo's time on the court came to an end Sunday, Greg McDermott reflected on how the experience has also affected him as a parent.

"It’s been an incredible journey, and I really wish every parent could experience what I’ve had the opportunity to experience. I’ve had a front row seat for history, and it was my son that was doing it," Greg McDermott said during the press conference.

"But as I told them, I’m far more proud of how he’s handled his success than what he’s accomplished on the floor. To me, that is the really good stuff."

Doug McDermott leaves Creighton having scored 3,150 career points, making him fifth on the all-time scoring list for college basketball.

But when asked what memories stand out, the athlete said the support of fans and time with his dad come to mind first.

"Just so many memories that we’ll never forget. But just unbelievable fan support we’ve had at Creighton. Just grown so much over the years, and playing for my dad, it doesn’t get much better than that," Doug McDermott said. "You know, I’m just so blessed to be here."

Email: spetersen@deseretnews.com