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Kevin Pittsnogle: From NCAA Tourney Hero to Middle School Teacher Living in a Trailer

And Friday opens with a slightly depressing story: Remember Kevin Pittsnogle? The 6-foot-11 sharpshooter from West Virginia who led the Mountaineers to a stirring upset of Wake Forest in the NCAA tourney a few years back? The tatted-up kid who wore a white tux and a top hat to his wedding? You may recall when he was immortalized in SI a few years back – outstanding bowler, rich tattoo history – and everyone learned that his WVU jersey outsold that of the Logo, Jerry West.

Three years after getting drafted by the Celtics, and then cut, and drifting in and out of lesser leagues throughout the country (and France and Puerto Rico) …

Now, at 24, he is a middle school teacher in his hometown. He is also an unpaid assistant coach for a high school basketball team. He bowls in leagues three nights a week and occasionally plays bingo at Big Bucks Bingo. His wife, Heather, is a bank teller. They have two children and live in a double-wide trailer, and together they wonder how much appetite they have for uprooting their lives again so Pittsnogle can have one more chance at a basketball career.

Even if you’re not a college hoops junkie, it’s a great read. For instance: “In December, while shopping with his mother, he saw Reebok shoes on sale. He bought a pair for each of his students.” You mean to tell me this guy can’t make anyone’s roster? There has to be a team that mixes in a zone every now and then. Matt Bullard had an 11-year career. If there’s a spot in the league for a 35-year-old guy like Donyell Marshall, there has to be room on a roster somewhere for Kevin Pittsnogle.

Lure of Pro Ball Still Tugs at Pittsnogle (NY Times)

 

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