The Brent Arrington Legacy
By losing 83-70 Friday night, Brent Arrington has wrapped his OVC career. Surely he wanted one more game, but it was not to be.
Morehead State did lose a game, but that pales in comparison to their impending loss of Arrington the man.
“I am going to miss him,” said Head Coach Sean Woods afterwards. “Thank God we have some more basketball left, but when this deal is over it is going to be like losing my son. You know, not being able to coach my son anymore. Because he has been everything to me and this program in the time that I have been here.”
Arrington actually played for Coach Woods at Mississippi Valley State University and then followed his favorite recruiter to Morehead, Kentucky.
“He has meant everything to the program,” said Coach Woods. “The main reason I courted Brent and brought Brent here is because he is the epitome of me. He knows that…he sets the standard for never quitting. On and off the court character.”
Together Coach Woods and Arrington won 77 games spanning three seasons at MSU and one at MVSU. This accounts for a 59.7% winning percentage.
Following the loss to UT Martin, Brent sat and listened as two of the closest people in his life, Coach Woods and Corban Collins, flooded the room with flattering sentiments about their outgoing friend.
“Man, me and Brent have grown to not just teammates and friends, but brothers,” said Corban Collins. “Lifelong brothers. Me and B…we are going to have a relationship and bond forever. For life. I am going to be in his wedding. He is going to be in my wedding. All that kind of stuff. I am going to be in his wife’s baby shower. He is going to be in my wife’s baby shower. All that kind of stuff. We are brothers for life, man.”
Twice Coach Woods referred to Arrington as ‘The Epitome.’ The honor, character, and grit that Coach Woods professes is epitomized by Arrington. When recruits come visit he points to Arrington as the living embodiment of his vision.
Brent finally was asked to reflect. He struggled to speak. After clearing his throat, the rough and ready hooper managed a few thoughts.
“In the long run, I have been Morehead (pause) it feels like my whole life,” said Arrington. “It went quick though. It is over now, pretty much. But, I am honestly at a loss for words. I am still trying to figure out what happened.”
If losses annoy or bother fans, they can crush players. While countless supporters clad their blue and gold for the game, Arrington can’t toss his true colors in the laundry tonight. He is scarred for life with his love of university and team.
“Trying to figure out, to move on to the next thing we got going on,” said Arrington. “This is just a tough time right now, so…I am a little short for words.”
Coach Woods will likely remain with Morehead State next season. The grind never stops. And Arrington will not lose touch completely. Still, the proximity will dictate fewer conversations. The two will literally see each other less. This juncture of their lives is over, never to return.
“Me personally, this is a tough night because it seems like I have had him ever since I have been a head coach,” said Coach Woods. “He is part of my success and he is part of this success here at Morehead State.”
The Eagles will have to wait to see what postseason tournament invite arrives. The dream was NCAA Tournament, following an OVC Title. With the sparkling late-season charge MSU managed to tie for second place in the OVC East with Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech.
“I am going to miss him,” said Coach Woods. “Thank God we have some more basketball left, but when this deal is over it is going to be like losing my son. You know, not being able to coach my son anymore. Because he has been everything to me and this program in the time that I have been here.”
The basketball program will move on. New guards will fill Arrington’s shoes. Other players will wear his number, in that same uniform. The legacy he leaves really comes down to the same thing it all started with…relationships.
A kid from Baltimore and a young man from High Point, North Carolina probably never cross paths, never meet if not for their joint love of basketball. The game has a beautiful way of bringing uncommon humans to a common understanding.
“Even though we weren’t able to win a conference championship together we were able to win a lot of games,” said Collins. “We were able to do a lot of things. I was able to see him take over a game (Belmont) and just play crazy. And he was able to reach that 1,000 points mark. He is just a great guy. I love him. I love him to death.”