CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- The Virginia men's basketball team was together once again Friday night to celebrate their national championship by raising the banner in front of a packed John Paul Jones Arena.
Former players De'Andre Hunter, Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy all flew back to rejoin their teammates with only Jack Salt missing from the championship team, who sent a video message from overseas. Players and coaches spent most of the night looking back on what Tony Bennett called one of the greatest stories in sports.
"I came up with a bunch of memories and then all of a sudden bang a bunch more memories came back that I didn't think about," Bennett said, "There are so many things that happened along the way that made me pause. And it almost made it like when you're preparing something, it almost made me appreciate it even more."
At one point, all three former players talked about their relationships from the recruitment period to now. Guy said to this day he gets asked about Virginia's run constantly.
"I think about it a lot, not in an idolizing type of manner, just in a can't believe it happened type of thing," Guy said, "Some times when I'm going through a hard time on the basketball court, it's easy to think of the UMBC game and how we combated those problems."
While taking the podium, Bennett pulled out two ticket stubs, one from the UMBC game and another from the national championship against Texas Tech as a reminder of their journey. Even still, Jerome says he has not had a chance to fully process everything that happened in the NCAA Tournament.
"So it's tough to actually sit back and think about how far you've actually come because winning a national championship is what I've always dreamed about as a little kid," Jerome said, "But I'm trying to constantly get better and now address the NBA. Haven't really had time to sit back and really think about it."
The night was capped by players receiving their championships rings and the banner being raised into the rafters.