Birthdate: December 12, 1965
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio
High School: Moeller HS (1984)
Colleges: Xavier University (1988)
Year Inducted: 2021
Byron Larkin was the first Xavier player to have his jersey number retired and the high-energy guard remains XU’s all-time leading scorer with 2,696 career points. In fact, he led the program in scoring in each of his four seasons including more than 25 points per game in his senior season of 1987-88. He arrived a known commodity in the Cincinnati area after a prolific career at Moeller High School, where he was named first-team all-Ohio as a senior after averaging 28.2 ppg.
Super athletic, left-handed and fearless, Larkin simply was a blur on the hardwood that defenses couldn’t trap and failed to contain. He also was a natural-born leader. The brother of former Major League Baseball players Barry and Stephen – and an All-American high school football player – Byron opted to pursue his own path and play basketball for the hometown Musketeers. He left XU arguably the greatest player in school history and as one of the 20 leading career scorers in NCAA history. His No. 23 hangs in the rafters of the Cintas Center, a reminder of a remarkable four-year run during one of the most exciting eras of college basketball.
With the 6-3 Larkin lighting up teams form his off-guard position, the Muskies seemingly stayed in every game and won two regular-season Association of Mid-Continent Universities championships and three MCC Tournament titles. In essence, he and head coach Pete Gillen brought the mid-major program into national prominence.
Larkin immediately found stardom on the court and averaged 17.0 ppg as a freshman. He upped his scoring average to 21.8 as a sophomore, 24.8 as a junior and the aforementioned 25.3 points per game as a senior. Xavier posted a record of 25-5 in 1985-86 and 26-4 in 1987-88. At the end of his senior campaign, Larkin was named second-team All-American by UPI, third-team All-American by The Associated Press, and had led XU to three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
During those postseasons, Larkin managed to grow his legend. In the program’s first-ever NCAA tourney win, he tossed in 29 points. In a 1986 MCC Tournament semifinal, he amassed 45 points and hit 17 of 20 shots. In all, he logged 20 points or more in 83 college games.
He was not drafted by an NBA team but played several years professionally and, in fact, was a star player in Venezuela. For the past 18 years, Larkin has been a mainstay at his alma mater as the color analyst for Xavier basketball radio broadcasts.