At some point in time, we all play what will be our last game. For some of us that comes early, when we are still young kids as we decide to pursue other passions or interest. For many, that comes in high school because we don’t have the talent to continue in college. For Nathan Adrian, that time may have come Thursday.
Nathan grew up a West Virginia Mountaineer fan. He went to school at Morgantown High and earned a scholarship from legendary WVU player and now coach Bob Huggins. He started 18 games as a freshman while scoring 16 points against William & Mary, 14 of which came after he broke his nose.
Nathan endured with the Mountaineers, coming to the team during the abysmal 2013-2014 season that saw the team finish 1 game above .500 (17-16), lose in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament and then lose their first round game against Georgetown in the NIT.
The following year, coach Huggins made the switch to “Press Virginia” and the Mountaineers have been off and running. Adrian evolved over time, suffering injuries which limited his natural shooting but allowing him to become an even better defender. This year, as a senior, Adrian stepped into Jonathan Holton’s spot in the press as the inbound defender. Nathan’s intelligence allowed him to continue to wreak havoc on teams.
When you look up Press Virginia in the dictionary, this is what you find. #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/QUFEPfuOZt— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 18, 2017
Unfortunately, last Thursday will be Nathan’s last as a member of the Old Gold-and-Blue. Like many, Adrian wanted to bring a championship to the team and the state and its fans. His quest ended prematurely but Nathan will always be a fan favorite, if for no other reason than that hair.
Nathan Adrian's message to #MountaineerNation via his Instagram. Thank you for everything @Njadrian_11 #WVU pic.twitter.com/JvpoGzWE6A— WVU (@StrictlyWVU) March 26, 2017
Only one team can finish the season with a win..for the rest they feel the pain of losing like we did. For me it hurts a little more because ti was the last time I’ll ever wear gold and blue and represent the state I love. I wanted a national championship for the people in West Virginia because they deserve it more than anyone. I came up short and will forever regret it. But I know with the guys coming back next year lead by the best point guard in the country in Jevon and the best coach to ever do it, the Mountaineers will be competing in the tournament again next year. I couldn’t win it all as a player but I can’t wait to experience that joy as a fan. I have always been a Mountaineer and I always will be. Thank you Mountaineer nation for the best 4 years of my life! #LOVE - Nathan Adrian via his Instagram