JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Georgia State coach Ron Hunter doesn’t mind getting a new cast. But don’t even think about swapping out his chair.
Hunter cracked the cast on his left leg during his now-famous fall that followed his son’s game-winning shot against Baylor on Thursday.
Hunter made headlines and highlights across the country — he was the talk of the NCAA Tournament’s opening day, really — when he fell off his rolling stool while celebrating R.J. Hunter’s NBA-range 3-pointer with 2.7 seconds remaining. It turned out to be the difference in a 57-56 victory that left 14th-seeded Georgia State one win shy of the Sweet 16.
Hunter noticed the damage after the game, checked with his doctor and learned he needed to get it redone before facing No. 6 seed Xavier on Saturday.
“When I got to the locker room, I started pulling some of the stuff away and it just opened up,” he said. “(My doctor) looked at it and said, ‘This is wrong, You’re making it worse.’ … This has been an interesting, interesting week. We’re winning, I’m getting banged up, I’m getting cut on, I’m getting everything. The players are absolutely just killing me with all this right now.”
Even though Hunter is admittedly superstitious, he said he has no problems parting with his cast.
But don’t dare touch his chair — even if it’s broken or unstable.
“I’m definitely using the same chair,” Hunter said. “That chair has been locked and covered right now. That chair has more protection than the President of the United States right now. I want that chair back. I don’t know where they got it from, but that chair, it will stay with me for the rest of my life. Whenever we leave, I’m taking that chair with me. Win, lose or draw, that chair is going to be in my house with me the rest of my life.”
Hunter was relegated to the stool on the sideline because he tore his left Achilles tendon celebrating the Sun Belt Conference championship. He might have surgery depending on his injury heals over the next three weeks.
In the meantime, he will deal with the jokes.
Players said they’ve watched dozens, if not hundreds, of online memes mocking Hunter’s fall.
“The memes are crazy,” guard Kevin Ware said. “I’ve probably seen 100 different memes (about) coach. They’ve got him falling outside of the White House. That’s probably the funniest one I’ve seen. But they’ve got real creative with it.”
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