There have been hundreds of thousands of great memories created by the WVU basketball team over the years.
Even more were created Saturday night as former Mountaineer John Flowers helped create the second annual WVU Basketball Alumni Game at Morgantown High School. Flowers, like so many other former WVU basketball players, have many great memories themselves.
This game is a chance for those players to team up again, to the delight of thousands of adoring fans. The game was sold out in 2015, the first year for the event, and it looked like a packed house again on Saturday.
Flowers, a key component of the 2010 Final Four team, was beloved for his defensive game on the court, but more so for his friendly demeanor and happy-go-lucky attitude off the court. Even five years after his graduation from WVU, Flowers still finds ways to put a smile on the faces of every person he comes in contact with.
"“We all come back anyway during the summer. A lot of guys live here, so why not just get everybody back,” Flowers said. “Most of the guys that are here over the summer are from the final four team, and I know a lot of people want to see that. I like learning about past experiences of WVU players that used to play here.”"
Flowers is one of the many people born and raised outside the state of West Virginia who have come inside the Mountain State’s borders and embraced the values and cultures of the people who live here. Other players who made up the roster at the alumni game, including Juwan Staten, Pat Beilein, Mike Gansey, Da’Sean Butler, Devin Ebanks, and Truck Bryant have also shared in special moments and look to give back in anyway that they can.
Butler, Bryant and Kevin Jones, for example, have all held basketball camps in West Virginia in recent years. They haven’t been held exclusively in Morgantown, either. They have traveled to all ends of the state to get to know the kids who live in all small counties, towns and villages.
Even though they no longer don the old gold and blue on their jerseys, they still have those Mountaineer colors in their hearts.
That was on full display on Saturday night as the legendary players signed autographs and posed for pictures with nearly every person in attendance at the high school gymnasium.
Gary Browne, who was unfortunately injured on his senior night in 2015, used this game as a chance to show the fans that he can still dazzle at point guard with his shots and passes. As MVP, his White Team, which included Mike Gansey, defeated the Blue Team by a score of 137-104.
But everybody was a winner in this one. The scoreboard, effectively, didn’t matter as all the former players had a good time reminiscing about the old times and making new memories for themselves and all of Mountaineer Nation who still supports them.
The success of the past two events, which both raised thousands of dollars for charity efforts, should guarantee that a third alumni game will be in the works or 2017. If Flowers has anything to do with, it will be another legendary occurrence.