It took a while for him to get there, but Nathan Adrian, the first graduate of Morgantown HS to play for the Mountaineers on scholarship since 1956, turned himself into the fan favorite for West Virginia as a senior.
It wasn’t just the long hair or the hustle.
He was one of their own.
His family owns 2,000 acres in Barbour County, where Adrian is an avid deer hunter and fisherman. In a story written by Sports Illustrated during the NCAA tournament, teammate James Long recalled how the team took a trip to a gun range once and Adrian “missed two shots all day.”
There is also this glorious anecdote, hinting at the fact that Adrian playing through a wrist injury during a dreadful sophomore season was typical:
As a high school senior, Adrian played through a broken second metatarsal in his right foot. Asked how the injury occurred, Adrian explained it “just kind of happened. Foot went numb.” Asked how he managed to play on it, Adrian smiled and repeated himself: “Foot went numb.”
He’s as West Virginia as West Virginia gets, which is what makes the announcement that he is “#retired” just so perfect:
He’s on the water wearing jorts and a wrinkled Miller Lite t-shirt with the flow in midseason form and a bass in his right hand.
That’s the dream right there.