Managers provide heart and soul of UVA basketball

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Family is more than Nike slogan on a warmup for Virginia basketball and it extends to everyone, especially the equipment managers.

"Guys don't see how much they do behind the scenes," Virginia junior guard Ty Jerome said, "But from our managers to our scout team or to the guys that play or coaches, it's all one big family."

For the managers there's no limit to what they do on gamedays.

"Wake up calls in the morning then we all go to breakfast then we organize food, so snacks for the guy," senior manager Faris Wasim said, "A light snack usually entails Jimmy Johns, it's like a whole meal for people."

"Making sure we have everything packed, whether it be extra uniforms for the guys," senior manager Ben Buell said, "Really just being prepared for anything that might happen."

That really means anything like a whiteboard snafu in the NCAA Tournament.

"Last game against Oklahoma we had a whiteboard break, which has never happened before," Buell said, "But you always make sure you bring a couple extras, stuff like that."

To Kyle Guy's ever changing style.


"Kind of come out with a statement and get people asking him about his shoes and stuff like that," UVA Equipment Manager Matthew Althoff said, who has worked with Virginia athletics for more than 20 years, "That was a big thing during the game, I was getting texts from all my friends and family what's going on with Kyle's shoes, did you forget to pack up his shoes, what's happening."

Even though their work is not often seen, the players know who makes it all possible.

"One of our pillars is servanthood and they live out that pillar more than anyone, more than anyone I could imagine," Jerome said.

From the moment they joined Virginia basketball, these managers joined a family.

"They're just like any other student to us, they just happen to play basketball," Wasim said, "I guess if you're part of the program, you're a part of the family."

"Being away from Charlottesville for so long, especially the month of March," Buell said, "You really build those relationships with people and you have tons of little stories and a lot of memories that I'm sure will stay with me for the rest of my life."



 
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