Rotary Hears from ‘Best Virginia’ Coaches
The New Martinsville Rotary Club met at Quinets Restaurant on Wednesday, July 17, with former Magnolia Blue Eagle basketball player and current Morgantown high school coach Dave Tallman, Jr. along with former WVU assistant basketball coach Billy Hahn as the quest speakers. The pair were introduced by Magnolia basketball coach Dave Tallman, although no introduction was actually needed.
Both coaches have earned high respect around the state and are currently teamed up with Jared West (former WVU player) to coach the “Best Virginia” a Mountaineer legends team playing in the $2,000,000 basketball challenge tournament. The team is made up of former WVU players and according to Tallman and Hahn they expect to be a real challenge for the title.
The games will be played in Richmond, Virginia with the winner of the Richmond tournament advancing to Chicago for the top prize. Tallman said he believes they have put together one of the hardest working and most dedicated group of players he has ever been involved with. He said these guys just don’t miss. Coach Tallman said if they win the $2,000,000 his take would be $50,000. “With that I could pay off my bills and buy a few rounds,” Tallman added.
It was an entertaining meeting with Coach Hahn speaking about his history of coaching with and against Coach Huggins. He gave a nice talk about hard work, his retirement from coaching at WVU and his love for the people of West Virginia. He said he travels all over the United States for speaking engagements and is currently booked up clear through November, however when he was asked to come to Wetzel County and speak to the Rotary, he couldn’t pass it up.
“I go a lot of places, but no where I’ve been is better than West Virginia. The people are just the best, right here in Wetzel County are some of the best people you’ll find anywhere,” said Hahn. He said not long ago he was in Paden City speaking at the all-sports banquet telling kids how sports and academics go hand in hand. Coach Hahn said as for the “Best Virginia” team they are coaching, he’s really impressed with how well they have performed in exhibition games. Just like Coach Tallman he expects the West Virginia squad to compete hard and maybe just win this thing. He added they will have to beat an overseas team who has won the tournament the past couple times, but he believes his team is good enough to do it.
According to the two coaches the games will be televised on ESPN 3, and can be accessed on the internet as well.