WVU Alum Nate Adrian: ‘We Were Pretty Bummed’

Nate Adrian

Best Virginia, a team of WVU alums that was slated to play in the upcoming The Basketball Tournament, was forced to withdraw from the TBT last week after multiple members tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after the squad’s first workout.

“Ten of us practiced, and at least six of us got it,” explained Nate Adrian, one of the Best Virginia players who tested positive.

“I found out last Sunday (June 21),” said Adrian in an interview on the MetroNews Statewide Sportsline. “I had been doing OK, but then I started to have some symptoms that put me on my butt.”

A Morgantown native who played for the Mountaineers from 2014-17, Adrian experienced a rollercoaster in regard to his symptoms. For the first few days after testing positive, he was asymptomatic, but then he started to experience some problems beginning last Thursday. “It was one of the worst headaches I’ve ever had,” he said. He eventually had to go seek medical attention when the issues continued.

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The one bit of good news is that Nate doesn’t appear to have passed along the coronavirus to any others, including those in his family. His parents, Kevin and Lisa Adrian, also live in Morgantown, and see their son, who is one of their three children, regularly. Kevin in particular could be in a compromised position if he became ill, as he underwent a heart transplant three years ago.

“I normally see him about every day, but I got lucky and hadn’t seen him for a couple of days before my first symptoms,” Nate said of his interaction with his dad. “Still, he got tested, and so did my mom and all my family. No one has it, so fortunately I didn’t spread it to anyone.”

Best Virginia is a microcosm for the difficulty of restarting sports in the middle of a pandemic.

“I think this is something you’re going to see as sports gets going again,” admitted Nate. “You sweat and you’re on top of one another, so if one person in the group has it, most everyone there is likely going to get it. We’re facing some challenges in the future that are still unforeseeable at this point.

“There is really no way to avoid it in basketball,” he continued. “It’s pretty doom and gloom right now, at least it is in my head the way things have gone.”

Nate Adrian

Having to withdraw from the TBT was a disappointment for everyone on Best Virginia. Adrian played on the squad last year as well, and was hoping the club would be able to go even further in this year’s tourney.

“We were pretty bummed,” admitted Adrian when they decided to withdraw. “The tournament was drawing close, and any time you get to go play and represent West Virginia, you get pretty excited about that. This was going to be an opportunity for me to play with some of the guys I watched growing up, and that meant a lot to me. Now I’m pretty bummed to miss a year of it.”

Adrian used the 2019 TBT as a springboard to his first-ever professional basketball opportunity. His performance with Best Virginia last summer caught the attention of several foreign clubs, and he wound up signing with JSA Bordeaux, which plays in a lower level pro league in France. The 6-foot-9 forward led his team in scoring and rebounding with an average of 17.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, while also dishing out 2.6 assists per contest. He helped guide Bordeaux to a 13-13 record before basketball in Europe shut down in late February because of the spreading pandemic.

Adrian hopes that he can soon get healthy and again sign a contract with a pro team.

“If I can go play, I’ll go play. I’m not too worried about it,” he stated.

“Some teams are signing people now, but others are waiting. No one really knows what is happening,” Adrian said of the European basketball market. “Some teams are putting clauses in contracts for pay scales if the season gets cancelled.

“Also Europe is banning travel for Americans, so if that continues, that’s another big problem for us.”

Adrian wouldn’t mind returning to France for his second season of pro basketball, but he’s willing to go to whatever team fits him best.

“Hopefully I’m going to move up, either in that country or a different country,” he said. “I’m just going to keep my options open and see what happens in a month or so.”

For now Nate is mainly concerned about getting healthy. Then he can start to focus in on his next professional basketball stop.

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Home Page forums WVU Alum Nate Adrian: ‘We Were Pretty Bummed’

Home Page forums WVU Alum Nate Adrian: ‘We Were Pretty Bummed’