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Making the NCAA Tournament is super dope, especially when you're Georgia State and you lost in your conference championship game the year prior. The Panthers took out Georgia Southern today in the Sun Belt Tournament Championship 38-36, and yes that is a real score, to avenge last season's heartbreak, and head coach Ron Hunter was overcome with joy. So much joy, in fact, that he tore his Achilles tendon during the ensuing celebration.
Yet even a carved up Achilles couldn't stop Hunter from turning up during the postgame press conference.
"The pain between 1 and 10 is about 17 but I've taken so many pills right now I don't know that I'm feeling anything," Hunter told NOLA.com.
And who could blame him? The Panthers held their breath as Georgia Southern's Eric Ferguson missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to earn their automatic birth into March Madness. Hunter jumped into the air, and knew right then and there that his right Achilles was done for.
"When I saw the red lights go off I jumped up. I tore my Achilles years ago on the right side playing basketball when I was 26. It was the exact same feeling. I hadn't jumped that high in 26 years. I knew when I came down."
Hunter wouldn't let the injury hold him down, though. He still ran over to his son, R.J., a guard for the Panthers, for a hug. R.J. took him down the ground, having no idea his pops was on one good leg. Hunter even watched the tournament selection show with his leg wrapped up like a true champion.
Hunter will need surgery, but said he'll just keep his leg in a cast for the tournament, worrying about the serious stuff afterwards. This dude is the best.
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