By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
The first Sunday in June will be about more than the And1 streetball brand coming to Beckley.
It will be about homecomings, both locally and statewide.
Woodrow Wilson alumnus and former NBA player Tamar Slay will be in attendance for the event scheduled for June 2 at Woodrow Wilson High School. Slay, the 1998 state player of the year, will be recognized during halftime of the game.
Also appearing will be former West Virginia University star Da’Sean Butler. Drafted by the Miami Heat in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft, Butler helped lead the Mountaineers to a NIT championship and later to an appearance in the NCAA Final Four.
Game directors Anthony Hairston and Mike Fowlkes say a definite time for Butler’s meet-and-greet has not been finalized yet.
“You can have your picture taken with him, just bring your own camera for that, and he will sign autographs and hang out meeting the fans,” Fowlkes said.
Fans must have a ticket to the game to be admitted to the meet-and-greet.
Butler will also be promoting clinics he will host in Beckley and Princeton in July. He said he likes to stress to campers how much fun basketball can be.
“I try to let the kids know they can be competitive and still have fun,” Butler said. “Everybody tells them they have to work hard and it ends up turning them into (robots) and they don’t love the sport. We let the kids know you can have fun and still be competitive. We want them to enjoy themselves.”
Butler has never seen And1 live and is looking forward to seeing the game.
“I’m excited to see it and see some of the people who supported me throughout my college career,” Butler said.
Not only will Slay be honored, but attempts are also being made to contact all members of his championship teammates from Woodrow for a dinner the night before the game. All-state guard Jamel Bradley, who went on to play at the University of South Carolina, will be there.
Anyone who has contact information for any other player can call Fowlkes at 304-237-2603.
Attempts to contact Slay, who is playing professionally in Italy, were unsuccessful.
Slay played at Marshall before the New Jersey Nets drafted him in the second round in 2002. He played for the Nets and Charlotte Bobcats before going overseas.
Tickets for And1 are $10. For more information, call Hairston at 304-923-6228.