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Indiana reunion bittersweet with health an issue

Todd Leary was nose-to-nose with Bob Knight, posing for a photo with his former coach Saturday when he turned and looked him in the eyes. “You know, I will always love you coach.”

“He said back to me, ‘I will always love you, too.’ But coach doesn’t know he is talking to me,” said Leary, who played for Knight from 1989-94 and later was a radio color commentator for the team. “That’s not the Bob Knight I know. The Bob Knight I know would have hit me in the back of the head and I would have loved every minute of it.”

For that reason and so many other little things that happened Saturday, it was bittersweet for the nearly 50 former Hoosiers who played for Knight, there at Assembly Hall for his historic return. 

‘THIS IS WHERE HE BELONGS’:How Bob Knight’s 20-year absence from Indiana finally came to an end

TEARS, CHEARS:Bobby Knight returns to Assembly Hall as years of anger fade away

They were happy he was back, after a 20-year absence. They were thrilled the rift between Knight and the university had seemingly dissipated. It was a relief in so many ways, Leary said.

“We used to have to choose the Knight family or the IU family and now we don’t have to,” he said. “It allowed me to kind of close the door on that chapter and turn the page. It’s all about the team now.”

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