Retirees Association

NCAA: Inside a night full of rallies and raw emotions for Wright State

Tanner Holdeen hoists trophy

Excerpt from the NCAA News

In the end Tuesday night, the Horizon League was about a championship team with one dramatic win, and a series of agonizing losses. Not losses on a scoreboard, but the personal ones that can break a heart.

Look out on the packed court at the Wright State celebration going on. The frenzied kind you get when a team has rallied from 16 points down and won in the final 10 seconds to punch its proverbial ticket for the NCAA tournament. There are hugs to share and nets to cut. But where’s the coach?

Scott Nagy is sitting alone on the bench for a moment, away from it all, and cannot stop the tears. His father is with him. The father he lost five months ago. Dick Nagy was a longtime assistant coach at Illinois and an inspiration and steady voice for the son who followed him into the profession. How he would be loving this night. But he’s gone.

“I haven’t cried much since I lost him, but I just broke down there,” Nagy would say a few moments later. “This is hard for me. I wish I could enjoy this with him.”

Look at the Raiders players, just having beaten Northern Kentucky 72-71 on Trey Calvin’s pull-up jumper with 10 seconds left. They’re happily putting on the Horizon League champion shirts someone had ready. Except for the guard who scored 19 points. Why does he have a different shirt with a man’s face on it?