While the Utah Jazz are in Philadelphia today in prior to Friday night's game against the 76ers, the long-time voice of the team isn't with them.
"Hot" Rod Hundley - in a move that sounds suspiciously like a John Denver song - has been taken home to West Virginia.And tonight he'll be rooting for his alma mater to beat the team from his adopted home state in a Sweet 16 battle in the NCAA Tournament, too.
"I have mixed emotions about the West Virginia-Utah game," he said. "But they're all mixed for West Virginia."
That doesn't mean he thinks the Mountaineers will win, however.
"I don't think we have a chance against Utah," he said, still calling West Virginia "we" more than 40 years after leaving. "But then again, I didn't think we had a chance against Cincinnati and I didn't think we had a chance against Temple."
Hundley starred for the Mountaineers from 1955-57, leading the team to the NCAA Tournament three straight seasons. He was a senior when future NBA hall of famer Jerry West was a freshman - but they never played on the same team because at that time freshmen were ineligible for varsity teams.
Hundley traveled from Charlotte to West Virginia in a private jet sent to pick him up by a wealthy former teammate. The trip was planned long before the Mountaineers were scheduled to play the Utes. Hundley has two separate speaking engagements set up with groups of Boy Scouts in his boyhood home.
"It's a small state," he said. "They don't forget you there."