James Long will return to Best Virginia for The Basketball Tournament’s summer 2022 season. Best Virginia will return to the Charleston Coliseum in Charleston, West Virginia July 24-27. Tickets are on sale now at thetournament.com/tickets.
“I’m excited to be back for year two with Best Virginia,” Long said. “Last year was one of the best coaching experiences of my life. Representing West Virginia University in Charleston was special to all of us.
“As for the basketball, the winner-takes-all dynamic mixed with the Elam Ending was the most fun I’ve had in coaching. The pressure is real and it is a privilege to be a part of! I appreciate John (Flowers) and Kevin (Jones) trusting me and the staff to come back and help them again. We have more to accomplish and look forward to putting in the work necessary to prepare to compete again!”
Best Virginia is led by General Manager and player John Flowers and represents men’s basketball alumni from West Virginia University. Kevin Jones, founding member of the team, is picking this year’s lineup.
Players currently confirmed for Best Virginia include John Flowers, Kevin Jones, Jaysean Paige. The rest of the roster will be announced weekly.
The original home of the Elam Ending, The Basketball Tournament has grown from a unique idea among friends to one of the most exciting and engaging events on the summer sports calendar, with national exposure on ESPN, social media buzz and regional championships across the country – culminating in a winner-take-all $1 million game.
Long is a Charleston, West Virginia native who played a season at Wofford before transferring back home to West Virginia. Long walked-on from 2013-15, 2016-17, under legendary coach Bob Huggins. At WVU, Long was a part of the Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll and was a member of the Academic All-Big 12 First Team. After graduating West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Science in finance in 2017, Long came back to assist his former coach for two seasons, as Huggins named Long assistant director of basketball operations and video coordinator.
Long was able to receive his first head coach gig at WVU Tech (NAIA Division II), when he was hired in July 2019. In his first season coaching, Long led the Golden Bears to a 23-8 record, finishing in first place in the River States Conference. In the 2020-21 season, Long coached WVU Tech to the River States Conference Championship, sending the Golden Bears to two-straight NAIA National Championship appearances in 2021 and 2022.
Dave Tallman (assistant coach)
Fresh off of the WV AAAA State Championship, Dave Tallman returns to the Best Virginia coaching staff for the 2022 team. He has been with the team since it’s start in 2019.
“We’re excited to run it back in Charleston this summer,” Tallman said. “We were close to winning the regional last year, and with the addition of a few pieces, I like our chances of getting to Dayton.”
Tallman has served as the head coach of Morgantown High School’s varsity basketball team since 2015. Prior to coaching at MHS, Tallman was the head coach at St. Mary’s Ryken High School in Leonardtown, MD, where he served from 2007-14. Tallman was also the Director of Athletics at SMRHS.
Tallman has led Morgantown High to its only 2 State Championships in 2016 (27-0) and 2022.
Follow the team on social media by following @FinalFourcast on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.