BUFFALO, N.Y. (WDBJ7) The Hokies found out Sunday night that they'd be headed to Western New York for the big dance, but the Tech team isn't the only central and southwest Virginia flavor in Buffalo.
West Virginia assistant coach Ron Everhart is walking gingerly following back surgery just a few weeks ago, but the coaching veteran isn't slowing down. While Everhart is currently a Mountaineer, his start in hoops came in Blacksburg where he played for the Hokies in the 1984-85 NCAA Tournament team, alongside Dell Curry and Coach Charlie Moir.
"The thing I remember most about my college experience was Dell Curry, and what a great player he was. Every night you knew Dell was going to come out and be so productive. And the one thing I remember about the tournament was, you know, we played Temple up in Hartford, and we had those guys beat. I just remember the last couple of plays, and them making a tough shot. Stewart Granger on the putback. That was a real tough deal, and we-- like any other college player you're dying to advance in that tournament, and we had a chance to play Patrick Ewing in Georgetown that next game, and that was what we were all kind of hoping for," Everhart said.
Everhart has had a 30-year plus coaching career that has taken him to places like VMI, Tulane, Northeastern, McNeese State, Duquesne, and now West Virginia. But his time with the Tech program helped shape who he is as a coach.
"Basketball has been great for me. Coach Moir was such an instrumental part back in those days. He helped me get into the business. You know, I've been all over the place. It's been great for me. I've had an opportunity to be a part of a lot of young guys lives. Hopefully, in the big picture, make a lot of 'em better," Everhart said.
Everhart and the Mountaineers will face Bucknell on Thursday afternoon, and ODAC fans in our region will recognize Bison head coach Nathan Davis, a former boss at Randolph-Macon.
Then there's Princeton's Aaron Young, a Northern Virginia native who played at Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg, under coach Curtis Staples, a former sharpshooter at UVA and is a part of Princeton's first Ivy League Tournament championship team.
"Being able to play under Curtis Staples was something that really changed my career, especially someone who's a shooter. Especially someone who's a guard. The tradition there that he's been building is great. You have guys like Sacha [Killeya-Jones] at Kentucky, Caleb White at ECU, Skye Johnson at Delaware. And to be there and play under him is something that definitely helped my career," Young said.
Aaron and his Princeton teammates face Notre Dame Thursday at Noon.