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WVU, Eilert Show Support to Battle During Native American Heritage Month



RaeQuan Battle Josh Eilert

WVU Basketball showed their support to guard RaeQuan Battle during the final day of Native American Heritage Month on Thursday. West Virginia interim HC Josh Eilert wore a Tulalip Tribes hoodie during his weekly press conference. Eilert was gifted the hoodie when he visited Battle’s reservation during the summer.

“It’s a show of support for him,” Eilert said on what the hoodie represents. “He’s going through a heck of a lot mentally trying to make sense of everything that’s been thrown his way. I want to show a sign of support because it’s weighing heavy on him.”

“When I came out there, they were so hospitable,” Eilert added.

“Thank you coach! And WVU Basketball. You’re always welcome back to the reservation,” Battle responded on social media.

West Virginia has been very prideful with Battle’s heritage throughout his waiver process. Eilert, as well as WVU AD Wren Baker, mentioned that Battle was the only Native American to participate in the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Battle’s initial and appeal waivers were denied but is seeking legal action with the help of his attorney and others.

Battle has transferred multiple times as an undergraduate student-athlete and is not a grad transfer after his summer session. The NCAA recently has started to crack down on waivers from transfers, no matter the situation. Battle transferred from Montana State this April after averaging 17.7 points on 47% shooting for the Bobcats. Battle led Montana State to the NCAA Tournament, giving 3-seed Kansas State a game in the first round. Battle and the Bobcats fell short but the current Mountaineer scored a game-high 27 points.

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