Sunday, March 13, 2016

Hampton and the coach who called Jesus back in NCAA tournament

NORFOLK, Virginia -- One of our favorite results from a lengthy list of conference championship games across the nation Saturday came in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference where Hampton beat South Carolina State 81-69 to advance to the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row.

Nothing against South Carolina State. It had a good season and was equally worthy of the title, but Hampton coach Edward Joyner Jr. is just too much fun. He’s the kind of coach you want to see succeeding at this time of year because he seems to have a way of adding to the fun.

You might remember Joyner from last season. After his team won a play-in game in the First Four against Manhattan, he was asked in the press conference about facing Kentucky and he picked up his cell phone and pretended to call Jesus.

As he continued the gag, he asked Jesus how to handle Kentucky and Jesus apparently hung up.

So there was Joyner again Saturday in the final seconds of his team’s victory. He stalked the sidelines like a wild man who couldn’t wait to celebrate his third MEAC tournament title and NCAA trip in six years. . When the game was over and he shook hands with opponents, he climbed up on a short wall behind the bench area to pump his fist at Hampton supporters and celebrate the moment with them.


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