Bob Huggins had a life lesson for the WVU class of 2025 on Sunday night at Milan Puskar Stadium.
“Let me tell you how cruel the world is,” the Mountaineers head coach said as he addressed the crowd.
“I’m trying to play and I go to Philadelphia,” Huggins continued. “There are about 30 guys there and guys get cut, but I get to stay. The next day, guys get cut and I get to stay."
By the end, Huggins said, there were three people left. The number one pick in the draft, the number two pick in the draft and himself.
“So, they close down the practice and they tell us ‘We’ll tell you who made it and didn’t make it.’ So, we go in the locker room and we wait and we wait and we wait. Soon, the trainer comes in, and he walked in and he said ‘You guys want to know who made it and who didn’t make it?’"
At this point, Huggins wasn’t hopeful he’d make the team.
“The trainer says, ‘None of you Mfers’ and ran out,” he said. “He never came back and that’s how we got cut.”
Before his training camp audition with the 76ers, Huggins played one year at Ohio University before transferring to West Virginia and playing three full seasons for the Mountaineers.
At WVU, Huggins developed into a pivotal player and by his final season, Huggins averaged 13.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.
Following his fourth year, Huggins had an opportunity to work out for the 76ers, but before he could make the trip to Philadelphia, he was hit by a car while riding his bike which injured his shoulder and knee.
“Let me tell you why the love for this state and this university go so deep. I was born here in Morgantown in Vince Pallotti Hospital which is now I think a nursing home, and I think that’s probably where I’ll end up. You guys know where it is because it's catty corner from the Little General that sells the most beer in the state.”
He continued: “I almost died there. I was working out to go tryout for the Philadelphia 76ers and I rode the bike up the hill, I had pushed it most of the way up, and I came down and this lady turned in front of me and I went through the windshield. Tore up my knee, my shoulder, my elbow and whole bunch of other things.”