D’Antoni is Huntington’s pick
It matters no more what happened behind closed doors or what strings were pulled. When Dan D’Antoni was announced as Marshall University’s new head basketball coach Thursday, Huntington erupted. “Little Danny,” the scrappy point guard from Wyoming County who once scored 1,000 points for the Herd in the Veterans Memorial Field House, is finally coming home. Like a prodigal Son of Marshall whose long journey winded through New York and Los Angeles, D’Antoni proclaimed at his hiring press conference Friday he finally had his “dream job.” After a not-as-long journey with a more concentrated level of twists, the city of Huntington may have found its dream coach.D’Antoni’s detractors have nearly universally come from outside the Huntington and Marshall communities. Questions of his recruiting abilities and his nearly 43-year absence from college basketball have whipped message boards and talking heads into a frenzy, but it’s almost exclusively from those outside the tri-state. Meanwhile in the Jewel City, the good folks of Huntington were one step away from throwing a welcoming parade. Whatever intrigue, founded on fact or otherwise, should be forgotten. President Stephen J. Kopp and Athletic Director Mike Hamrick should be commended for knowing what the Huntington community wanted and delivering.They delivered a D’Antoni.This is exactly the shot of adrenaline the seemingly crumbling basketball program needed. Canty, Pittman and Herrion are in the past. While the Herd faces a tough forecast for the first few years, there’s nothing more the Huntington baby boomers would love than to cheer on a D’Antoni boy once more. Despite an uncertain future on the court, the program has been patched up enough to keep the fans in The Cam.
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