UNCASVILLE, CONN. — During the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s weekend festivities, West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins took the podium on Friday to talk to the media. Huggins brought up the many people that influenced his life and coaching career.
Growing up in the suburbs of Sabraton, W.Va., Huggins’ grandfather set up a hoop for a young Bob, which was right above the coal bin. Bob’s mother Norma Mae would send him upstairs often to wash up after the coal got all over him. Eventually, they moved the hoop to the side of the house.
“In my younger life, my parents and my grandparents did a lot of things to help me,” Huggins said.
Huggins’ father, Charlie, played a major factor in Bob wanting to become a coach. Throughout his dad’s coaching career, Charlie won 87 percent of his games.
“I get to do a lot of things like [the Hall of Fame] and people say, ‘hey, you’ve won 900 games.’ I didn’t win 87 percent of them, promise you,” Huggins said.
Huggins will enter the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as the third West Virginia University alumni to do so. The first two inductees, Jerry West and Rod Thorn, were idolized by a young Bob. Huggins would listen to all of the Mountaineer basketball games on the radio when West and Thorn played. Now, Huggins’ idols are presenting him on Saturday night as an official Hall of Famer.
“I’ve been fortunate with the people that I was around,” Huggins said.
Huggins will be officially enshrined on Saturday night. Coverage of the event will be on NBA TV starting at 7 p.m.