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Tallman and Hoops Go Hand in Hand

Photo by Cody Tomer Best Virginia assistant coach and New Martinsville native Dave Tallman is enjoying his time leading up to The Basketball Tournament, which starts Saturday.

WHEELING — Growing up in New Martinsville, Dave Tallman Jr. has been around the game of basketball — well since he was born.

With his love, passion and knowledge of the game, he has also been a big help for West Virginia alumni team, Best Virginia, as it competes in The Basketball Tournament, which tips off on Saturday from Charleston.

“My mom said I was in the gym the day after I was born,” Tallman said. “That’s all I know really. I don’t know what I’d do without that orange round ball in my life. It’s been great and I’m honored to be a part of this and help out these pros.”

Tallman, the head coach of the Morgantown High School boys’ basketball team, is also the son of Magnolia boys’ coach Dave Tallman Sr., just another reason why the gymnasium was like a second home to Tallman Jr. growing up.

Although he is now calling the shots in Morgantown, Tallman Jr. will always have a special place in his heart for the Ohio Valley and he enjoyed Friday’s exhibition game — a 77-63 win over MEC alumni team, the Underground Kings, at Wheeling Park High School.

“This was fun,” Tallman Jr. said. “I thought they did a good job of putting it together and it’s fun to hang out with other valley guys like Chase Harler (Wheeling Central grad) and Logan Routt (Cameron grad). It was a good night and I thought the opposition gave us a good look.”

This isn’t Tallman Jr.’s first rodeo with The Basketball Tournament or Best Virginia. In fact, he’s been there every step of the way since the team started playing for the million-dollar prize in 2019 when it defeated Seven City Royalty 79-63 in the opening round and was bounced in the second round by four-time champion, Overseas Elite 80-68.

Last year, Best Virginia was forced out of the tournament after COVID-19 related issues.

Throughout the process, Tallman Jr. has been able to meet some very talented athletes and has enjoyed every minute of it.

“I’ve been involved since they first put it together,” Tallman Jr. said. “Since Day 1 it’s been an honor to be a part of it. I’ve gotten to know these guys and I’ve had some really good relationships with them.”

Best Virginia opens tournament play Saturday against WoCo Showtime — Wofford’s alumni squad.

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