MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Fielding a roster for The Basketball Tournament presents several challenges. Players sign summer contracts, want some time with their families after playing professionally overseas for the past few months, or simply just need a break from the game.
Former WVU guard Jermaine Haley was one of those players who was weighing his options ahead of the TBT deadline. According to Best Virginia player and co-founder Kevin Jones, getting Haley to join the squad was “a James Long spectacular.”
“Jermaine was working through some things, he had some options of stuff he was going to be doing in August then we told him the dates,” said Long, Best Virginia head coach. “He had wanted to do it the whole time, he just had to make sure of the dates and everything.”
Haley was one of the final pieces of the Best Virginia roster, with an emphasis on “final” as the squad added him to the lineup in the nick of time.
“He’s another one of our fabulous players who doesn’t rush to his notifications. That happened probably 15 minutes before the deadline,” Long said. “Me and KJ were, I’m not going to say panicking with 15 minutes until the deadline, but we were like, “what do we want to do? We have nine.” And then right when I said that, Jermaine called.”
With minutes to spare, Haley rounded out Best Virginia’s 10-man roster.
Two weeks before his TBT commitment, Haley hoisted a trophy in his native country. He helped lead the London Lightning to their fifth title in the National Basketball League of Canada. Haley started all three games of the finals. The former Mountaineer only scored two points in 33 minutes of action in the championship win, but he reached double figures in the other two games of the series.
He ended the season with an average of 13.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.8 assists over 25 games played. The Vancouver, British Columbia native earned an All-Canadian Team selection in his first season in the NBLC.
Haley’s WVU career abruptly ended due to the pandemic, but now, he gets another opportunity to represent his alma mater as a member of Best Virginia.
He averaged 8.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in his final season as a Mountaineer.