NCAA tournament: Where are they now?

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<p>There are certain players who will always be associated with March Madness. Some went on to NBA careers – and you already know where they are – while others are toiling overseas or even have regular jobs like the rest of us. But we’ll always have the memories they gave us in March. (Ali Farokmanesh, Bo Kimble, Rob Gray) </p>
NCAA Tournament Heroes: Where are they now?

There are certain players who will always be associated with March Madness. Some went on to NBA careers – and you already know where they are – while others are toiling overseas or even have regular jobs like the rest of us. But we’ll always have the memories they gave us in March. (Ali Farokmanesh, Bo Kimble, Rob Gray)

<p>Then: Oh, Lyles and the Retrievers just did something no other team had ever done in tournament history in 2018, becoming the first No. 16 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed. The senior guard pumped in 28 points in the 74-54 thumping of Virginia.<br>Now: Lyles is trying to keep his hoop dreams alive, playing for the Salt Lake City Stars of the NBA G League, where he’s averaging a shade under 13 points a game. </p>
Jairus Lyles, UMBC

Then: Oh, Lyles and the Retrievers just did something no other team had ever done in tournament history in 2018, becoming the first No. 16 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed. The senior guard pumped in 28 points in the 74-54 thumping of Virginia.
Now: Lyles is trying to keep his hoop dreams alive, playing for the Salt Lake City Stars of the NBA G League, where he’s averaging a shade under 13 points a game.

<p><span>Then: Ware became the emotional center of the Cardinals’ 2013 championship team (a title that’s since been vacated) when he suffered a truly gruesome broken leg against Duke in the Elite Eight.</span><br><span>Now: Ware left Louisville in 2014 and finished his college career at Georgia State University, leading the Panthers to the NCAA tournament in 2015. He has played pro ball in Greece and Canada.</span> </p>
Kevin Ware, Louisville

Then: Ware became the emotional center of the Cardinals’ 2013 championship team (a title that’s since been vacated) when he suffered a truly gruesome broken leg against Duke in the Elite Eight.
Now: Ware left Louisville in 2014 and finished his college career at Georgia State University, leading the Panthers to the NCAA tournament in 2015. He has played pro ball in Greece and Canada.

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<p><span>Then: Brett Comer, Sherwood Brown and Chase Fieler (from l. to r.) became the darlings of the 2013 tournament, as Florida Gulf Coast dunked all over Georgetown – hence the nickname – in a No. 15 over No. 2 upset on the first weekend. They advanced all the way to the Sweet Sixteen, where they lost to the No. 3 Florida Gators.</span><br><span>Now: Comer, after some stretches in pro ball, spent the 2017-18 season as a graduate assistant at Dayton while both Brown and Fieler are playing overseas, in Belgium and Lebanon, respectively.</span> </p>
Dunk City

Then: Brett Comer, Sherwood Brown and Chase Fieler (from l. to r.) became the darlings of the 2013 tournament, as Florida Gulf Coast dunked all over Georgetown – hence the nickname – in a No. 15 over No. 2 upset on the first weekend. They advanced all the way to the Sweet Sixteen, where they lost to the No. 3 Florida Gators.
Now: Comer, after some stretches in pro ball, spent the 2017-18 season as a graduate assistant at Dayton while both Brown and Fieler are playing overseas, in Belgium and Lebanon, respectively.

<p>Then: His high-arcing three-pointer with one second left on the shot clock gave Arkansas a 73-70 lead over Duke with under a minute to play in the 1994 national title game, which the Razorbacks would go on to win.<br>Now: After surprisingly going undrafted in the NBA, Thurman had a productive career playing overseas. He returned to Arkansas in 2010 in a career-development capacity but has since moved to the bench, where he’s been an assistant coach on the men’s team since 2016. </p>
Scotty Thurman, Arkansas

Then: His high-arcing three-pointer with one second left on the shot clock gave Arkansas a 73-70 lead over Duke with under a minute to play in the 1994 national title game, which the Razorbacks would go on to win.
Now: After surprisingly going undrafted in the NBA, Thurman had a productive career playing overseas. He returned to Arkansas in 2010 in a career-development capacity but has since moved to the bench, where he’s been an assistant coach on the men’s team since 2016.

<p><span>Then: Playing not far from his Rhode Island home, Sorrentine led the No. 13 Catamounts to an upset of No. 4 Syracuse in Worcester, Massachusetts, when he drilled a three over the Orange’s famous zone defense – from about 28 feet. It gave the Catamounts a four-point lead with a minute to go and they’d go on to win, 60-57.</span><br><span>Now: Sorrentine played professionally in Europe, but an ACL tear led him back home and into the family business (his dad is in the New England Basketball Hall of Fame). He’s the associate head coach at Brown, and has been coaching at the Ivy League program since 2008.</span> </p>
T.J. Sorrentine, Vermont

Then: Playing not far from his Rhode Island home, Sorrentine led the No. 13 Catamounts to an upset of No. 4 Syracuse in Worcester, Massachusetts, when he drilled a three over the Orange’s famous zone defense – from about 28 feet. It gave the Catamounts a four-point lead with a minute to go and they’d go on to win, 60-57.
Now: Sorrentine played professionally in Europe, but an ACL tear led him back home and into the family business (his dad is in the New England Basketball Hall of Fame). He’s the associate head coach at Brown, and has been coaching at the Ivy League program since 2008.

<p><span>Then: In 2005, Farokhmanesh drained one of those </span><i><span>nonononoYES!</span></i><span> kind of shots, propelling No. 9 NIU to an improbable upset of No. 1 Kansas. His three-pointer came after the Panthers broke KU’s press, and Farokhmanesh had so much time that it seemed like too much time. He pump faked and drained it, securing the biggest win in program history.</span><br><span>Now: After playing a little in overseas, Farokhmanesh came back to the States to pursue a coaching career. He spent three years at Nebraska as a grad assistant and is currently an assistant coach at Colorado State.</span> </p>
Ali Farokhmanesh, Northern Iowa

Then: In 2005, Farokhmanesh drained one of those nonononoYES! kind of shots, propelling No. 9 NIU to an improbable upset of No. 1 Kansas. His three-pointer came after the Panthers broke KU’s press, and Farokhmanesh had so much time that it seemed like too much time. He pump faked and drained it, securing the biggest win in program history.
Now: After playing a little in overseas, Farokhmanesh came back to the States to pursue a coaching career. He spent three years at Nebraska as a grad assistant and is currently an assistant coach at Colorado State.

<p><span>Then: The freshman went from sixth-man to starter during the Wolverines’ run to the Final Four in 2013, posting double-doubles in wins over VCU and an overtime thriller against Kansas.</span><br><span>Now: A combination of injuries and drug violations forced McGary out of the NBA, but he hasn’t ruled out a possible return. In the meantime, he’s polishing his bowling game. “I love it,” he told the Chicago Tribune in 2017.</span> </p>
Mitch McGary, Michigan

Then: The freshman went from sixth-man to starter during the Wolverines’ run to the Final Four in 2013, posting double-doubles in wins over VCU and an overtime thriller against Kansas.
Now: A combination of injuries and drug violations forced McGary out of the NBA, but he hasn’t ruled out a possible return. In the meantime, he’s polishing his bowling game. “I love it,” he told the Chicago Tribune in 2017.

<p><span>Then: Kimble authored one of the most memorable moments, not just in tournament history, but in the history of sports when he took a free-throw left-handed, in honor of his fallen teammate Hank Gathers, and drained it in the 1990 Big Dance. Gathers, who also played high school ball with Kimble, collapsed during a televised game and died 12 days earlier.</span><br><span>Now: Kimble is the co-founder of the Forty-Four for Life Foundation – a nod to Gathers’ jersey number – and sits on its board of directors. The group aims to raise awareness about heart diseases.</span> </p>
Bo Kimble, LMU

Then: Kimble authored one of the most memorable moments, not just in tournament history, but in the history of sports when he took a free-throw left-handed, in honor of his fallen teammate Hank Gathers, and drained it in the 1990 Big Dance. Gathers, who also played high school ball with Kimble, collapsed during a televised game and died 12 days earlier.
Now: Kimble is the co-founder of the Forty-Four for Life Foundation – a nod to Gathers’ jersey number – and sits on its board of directors. The group aims to raise awareness about heart diseases.

<p>Then: Gray, and his man bun, took the hoops world by storm by leading Houston to a six seed in the NCAA Tournament and scoring 39 points in a first-round win over San Diego State. His 23 points and 10 rebounds weren’t enough against eventual tournament runner-up Michigan, as Houston’s run ended after one game.<br>Now: Gray went undrafted following the 2018 Dance and is currently playing in the G League where he’s averaging just over 17 ppg for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. </p>
Rob Gray, Houston

Then: Gray, and his man bun, took the hoops world by storm by leading Houston to a six seed in the NCAA Tournament and scoring 39 points in a first-round win over San Diego State. His 23 points and 10 rebounds weren’t enough against eventual tournament runner-up Michigan, as Houston’s run ended after one game.
Now: Gray went undrafted following the 2018 Dance and is currently playing in the G League where he’s averaging just over 17 ppg for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

<p><span>Then: He was the player you loved to hate, the trash-talking, shot-making poster boy for what was, at the time, a program on the rise. He played in four Final Fours, winning two championships.</span><br><span>Now: Laettner had a respectable, if not spectacular NBA career, and is in the Hall of Fame on the strength of his dominance in college. His post-basketball career is less decorated; he’s been sued for real estate ventures that went sideways.</span> </p>
Christian Laettner, Duke

Then: He was the player you loved to hate, the trash-talking, shot-making poster boy for what was, at the time, a program on the rise. He played in four Final Fours, winning two championships.
Now: Laettner had a respectable, if not spectacular NBA career, and is in the Hall of Fame on the strength of his dominance in college. His post-basketball career is less decorated; he’s been sued for real estate ventures that went sideways.

<p><span>Then: </span><i><span>Bang!</span></i><span> Jenkins’ triple from the wing will be on every NCAA tournament highlight reel played from now to eternity. The buzzer-beating shot secured Nova’s win over North Carolina in the 2016 title game, the program’s first championship since 1985.</span><br><span>Now: Things haven’t gone smoothly following that title. The 6-foot-6 guard went undrafted following his senior season in 2017. He got a summer league invitation from the Wizards and played briefy in the G-League. He was set to play in Turkey but failed his physical. He spent part of the 2017-18 season playing in the North American Premier Basketball League, but was suspended because he was “not willing to put in the time and the effort,” a claim he denies. He’s currently playing pro ball in Germany.</span> </p>
Kris Jenkins, Villanova

Then: Bang! Jenkins’ triple from the wing will be on every NCAA tournament highlight reel played from now to eternity. The buzzer-beating shot secured Nova’s win over North Carolina in the 2016 title game, the program’s first championship since 1985.
Now: Things haven’t gone smoothly following that title. The 6-foot-6 guard went undrafted following his senior season in 2017. He got a summer league invitation from the Wizards and played briefy in the G-League. He was set to play in Turkey but failed his physical. He spent part of the 2017-18 season playing in the North American Premier Basketball League, but was suspended because he was “not willing to put in the time and the effort,” a claim he denies. He’s currently playing pro ball in Germany.

<p><span>Then: Records are meant to be broken, but maybe not this one. The guard scored an NCAA tournament-record 61 points in a 112-82 Irish rout over Ohio in the 1970 Big Dance. In his seven tournament games, he has two 40-point games, two 50-point games and that 61 point explosion.</span><br><span>Now: Carr had a lengthy career in the NBA but is best known today as the voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers.</span> </p>
Austin Carr, Notre Dame

Then: Records are meant to be broken, but maybe not this one. The guard scored an NCAA tournament-record 61 points in a 112-82 Irish rout over Ohio in the 1970 Big Dance. In his seven tournament games, he has two 40-point games, two 50-point games and that 61 point explosion.
Now: Carr had a lengthy career in the NBA but is best known today as the voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

<p><span>Then: The bearded Lumberjack chopped down third-seeded West Virginia in the first round of the 2016 tournament, scoring 33 points – and going 19-of-20 from the free-throw line – in the 70-56 win. SFA would lose a nail-biter to Notre Dame in its second-round game despite getting 21 points, five rebounds and five assists from Walkup.</span><br><span>Now: Walkout was an All-Star for MHP Reisen Ludwigsburg in Germany’s top division in 2017-18 and is currently playing for Zalgiris Kaunas of the Lithuanian Basketball League. He no longer rocks the bushy beard.</span> </p>
Thomas Walkup, Stephen F. Austin

Then: The bearded Lumberjack chopped down third-seeded West Virginia in the first round of the 2016 tournament, scoring 33 points – and going 19-of-20 from the free-throw line – in the 70-56 win. SFA would lose a nail-biter to Notre Dame in its second-round game despite getting 21 points, five rebounds and five assists from Walkup.
Now: Walkout was an All-Star for MHP Reisen Ludwigsburg in Germany’s top division in 2017-18 and is currently playing for Zalgiris Kaunas of the Lithuanian Basketball League. He no longer rocks the bushy beard.

<p><span>Then: The tattooed 6-11 forward was a matchup nightmare for the Mountaineers’ opponents in the 2005 tournament, when they marched all the way to the Elite Eight. He tortured teams again with his inside-outside game in 2006 as West Virginia advanced to the Sweet 16.</span><br><span>Now: Pittsnogle had a cup of coffee in the NBA, playing six games with the Celtics in 2006, and then bounced around some pro leagues before retiring in 2012. He began working as a special education teacher in West Virginia in 2016.</span> </p>
Kevin Pittsnogle, West Virginia

Then: The tattooed 6-11 forward was a matchup nightmare for the Mountaineers’ opponents in the 2005 tournament, when they marched all the way to the Elite Eight. He tortured teams again with his inside-outside game in 2006 as West Virginia advanced to the Sweet 16.
Now: Pittsnogle had a cup of coffee in the NBA, playing six games with the Celtics in 2006, and then bounced around some pro leagues before retiring in 2012. He began working as a special education teacher in West Virginia in 2016.

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