The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Other Sports

April 19, 2014

Mullens, Pineville to meet in Anderson Memorial

Game will be played May 18 at Mullens Middle School

After many years away from the sideline, legendary Mullens High School coach Don Nuckols is returning to the game of basketball.

No, Rory Chapman’s job at Wyoming East isn’t in jeopardy. Nuckols, along with former Mullens coach Gene Reid, will coach a group of Mullens High School alumni all-stars against the Bob Stewart and George Spolarich-coached Pineville alumni all-stars in the annual Kaimyn Anderson Memorial Basketball Game.

The game will take place Sunday, May 18, at 2 p.m. at Mullens Middle School — the former Mullens High. All proceeds from the event will go to a scholarship for a Wyoming East student.

“It’s going to be an exciting time,” Nuckols said. “I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be a thrill being around those guys again and getting together to watch them run up and down the court.”

The event and the scholarship are named after Anderson, a sports-loving 12-year-old, who passed away last fall while attending the Wyoming East-Westside football game.

Event organizer Nathan England put together the game as a way to keep Anderson’s spirit alive, while helping a Wyoming East student in taking a step toward college.

“I think it will mean a lot to the community for this scholarship in this young man’s name,” Nuckols said. “The community there is lucky to have Nathan. He’s very active in the community and does a lot of good things for them. It’s going to be a wonderful time.”

Many legendary players from both schools will be playing, including Herbie Brooks, Rob Fulford, Jeff “Bubblegum” Mullens and Christy Martin for Mullens, while Ricky Hatfield, Roy Blankenship and James Jacobs will be playing for Pineville.

Rosters are still being finalized for the event.

Nuckols is excited to get back in his old gym, where the legendary coach won five state championships and 12 sectional championships in 16 seasons.

“When I walk into that gym now... I can’t walk in without getting chill bumps all over me,” Nuckols said. “I see the banners. I see the trophies. It brings back tremendous feelings. It’s always a thrill to be there — and it’s an extra incentive when we’re going up against Pineville. We had many great games in that rivalry.”

One thing Nuckols isn’t concerned with is the conditioning of his Mullens Rebels all-stars, despite the added mileage on their engines. Pineville and Mullens closed in 1998 to consolidate into Wyoming East.

“I would say some of them could probably still shoot,” Nuckols said with a laugh. “Some are still fairly active. I know Herbie still plays. But I know between now and May 18 several of them will get out and play — get a little weight off of them, try to get those legs working again. I think they’ll have a lot of fun.”

More details will be announced as the date of the game approaches.

— E-mail: jrollins and follow on Twitter at @JDanielRollins.

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