James Long will be coaching on his home floor a little earlier in 2021 than expected.
The West Virginia University men’s basketball alumni team known as Best Virginia is coming to Beckley and Wheeling July 7 and 9 for two exhibition games, ahead of the team’s run in The Basketball Tournament (TBT). Tickets are on sale now beginning at $25. Tickets will be on sale at the door from $30.
“We can’t wait to hit the road again and bring some basketball to the people of West Virginia,” said team GM and player John Flowers. “The pandemic has stopped us from getting together and having fun, and we all want something fun to do after a hard year. We hope these two games can bring some smiles back to our fans.”
The two games will be held in Beckley at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center (July 7) and at Wheeling Park High School (July 9). Both events begin at 7 p.m. Venue capacities will be determined by local and state health guidance, and all seats will be socially distanced to keep the venue safe and fun for all.
Long, who will begin his third season as the head coach at WVU Tech this fall, was announced as Best Virginia's head coach in April. He will be joined on the coaching staff by fellow WVU alumnus Da'Sean Butler and Morgantown High head coach Dave Tallman.
This is the second time Best Virginia has played for fans in front of Beckley, after playing local players as part of the WVU Alumni Tour in 2019, ahead of the team’s first appearance in The Basketball Tournament.
A special weekend for fans will also occur July 9-11, with events being held at Wheeling Country Club. Details and ticketing information will be announced soon. A special live episode of The Final Fourcast Podcast with players and coaches from the team to preview their run in The Basketball Tournament will also be performed at Generations Restaurant & Pub.
The Basketball Tournament is a 64-team, winner-takes-all single-elimination tournament that is broadcast on ESPN every summer. Best Virginia is a featured host of the Charleston, West Virginia regional and will compete for the prize of over $1 million.
Tickets for the July 17-21 regional event are on sale now at thetournament.com/westvirginia.
“So many of us haven’t played in front of fans for more than a year,” Flowers said. “We can’t wait to see Mountaineer Nation turn up once again!”