Staten Notches Winner in WVU Alumni Game
FAIRMONT, W.Va. — On Saturday night John Flowers and several other former Mountaineer hoops standouts got together for the fifth annual WVU alumni game, an event that is becoming a summer staple among Mountaineer fans and players alike, at Joe Retton Arena at Fairmont State University.
Outside of defense, the game had just about everything you could ask for, as 18 recognizable names from different eras came together and threw down thunderous dunks, alley-oops, delivered precision passes and knocked down deep 3-pointers in a game that saw both teams combine for 277 points.
As a result of the high flying offenses, both teams were locked at 132 at the end of four 10-minute quarters, prompting Flowers to come up with overtime rules on the spot.
In an effort to closely mimic the rules of The Basketball Tournament, an event with a $2 million purse that several Mountaineer alumni will participate in later this summer, Flowers declared that the first team to hit the 140-mark would win the game.
Both teams ratcheted up the intensity, but in the end it was the white team that took home the win on a Juwan Staten 15-footer, setting the final score at 140-137.
“I’m a competitor and that’s basketball,” Staten noted shortly after hitting the game winner. “It always brings back memories to play in front of the fans and of course to hit the shot to win it. It always feels great and it brings back great memories.”
But the result meant little, for the event was truly about giving several former payers the chance to play in front of the fans that made their college experiences in the Mountain State so special.
“I always look forward to this just because it’s another chance and another reason to come back to Morgantown,” Staten explained. “Morgantown is like a second home to me. I love being here and I love what John (Flowers) is doing, because it unites us and this year we’re playing in the TBT (The Basketball Tournament) so it’s another chance for us to play together and another chance for us to get in shape. Everything about it is great.”