30 Greatest NCAA Tournament One-Hit Wonders: Where Are They Now? - Lost Lettermen

30 Greatest NCAA Tournament One-Hit Wonders: Where Are They Now?

March 18th, 2013| by

  • 1. Kevin Pittsnogle (West Virginia)

    What makes the NCAA tournament so special is the players that come out of nowhere to capture our imagination for fleeting moments in March to be forever etched in our memories. We update the current whereabouts of 30 of the greatest one-hit wonders who helped make March Madness what it is today.

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    “You’ve been Pittsnogled!” became a widely used rallying cry in college basketball as WVU reached the 2005 Elite Eight and 2006 Sweet Sixteen with this sweet-shooting big man.

    Pittsnogle currently works as a sales consultant for Miller’s Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in his hometown of Martinsburg, WV. He lives there with his wife, Heather, and their children.

  • 2. Bo Kimble (Loyola Marymount)

    Kimble provided some of the tournament’s most indelible moments in 1990 by shooting the first free throw of each game left-handed in honor of best friend and LMU teammate Hank Gathers, who died just days earlier. Kimble made each of his southpaw free throws as the 11th-seeded Lions enjoyed a storybook run to the Elite Eight.

    Kimble now lives in his hometown of Philadelphia and runs the “44 for Life” heart disease awareness foundation — so named as to honor the late Gathers’ jersey number, and is still involved in basketball through coaching.

  • 3. Bryce Drew (Valparaiso)

    Drew’s game-winning, buzzer-beating trey for No. 13 seed Valparaiso against Ole Miss in a 1998 first-round game is so well-known to the masses that it has its own Wikipedia page and is shown every year during March Madness.

    After taking the reins as head coach at Valpo following his father Homer’s retirement in 2011, Bryce — an assistant coach under his dad from 2005–2011 — guided the Crusaders to their first Big Dance berth in nearly a decade in 2013.

  • 4. Ali Farokhmanesh (Northern Iowa)

    Never one to turn down a shot he didn’t like, it was Farokhmanesh who helped Northern Iowa beat UNLV in the first round and stun top-seeded Kansas in the second round in 2010 with his gutsy 3-pointer with under 40 seconds remaining.

    Farokhmanesh headed overseas to play professionally before returning to the heartland when he was named a graduate assistant for Nebraska basketball in 2014.

  • 5. Omar Samhan (Saint Mary’s)

    The gregarious senior center was the face of Saint Mary’s run to the 2010 Sweet Sixteen. The gregarious “Sandman” dominated both Richmond and Villanova to the tune of 61 combined points.

    Samhan has since traveled the globe playing basketball and as of the end of 2014, is playing for the NBDL’s Texas Legends.

  • 6. God Shammgod (Providence)

    Any conversation concerning the best names in sports is incomplete without the former Friars guard who led plucky No. 10 seed Providence to the 1997 Elite Eight after beating Duke in the second round.

    His NBA career amounted to just 20 games but he embarked on a long, overseas odyssey of pro hoops. Shammgod is now back at his alma mater, finishing his degree and working as PC’s undergraduate student assistant coach.

  • 7. Harold Arceneaux (Weber State)

    The player nicknamed “The Show” put on just that for 14th-seeded Weber State against North Carolina in 1999. Arceneaux went off for 36 points in a 76–74 shocker that still gives Tar Heels fans nightmares. As analyst Kevin Harlan put it at the time, “The bar for heroism has just been raised!”

    Arceneaux is incredibly still playing and coaching in Mexico for Lechugueros de León after a career that has spanned the globe.

  • 8. Joey Rodriguez (VCU)

    VCU’s heady, 5-foot-10 point guard led the Rams’ shocking run from the First Four to the Final Four in 2011.

    After spending the 2011–2012 season playing professionally in Puerto Rico, Rodriguez joined the men’s basketball staff at UCF — not far from his hometown of Merritt Island, FL — as the Knights’ assistant video coordinator.

  • 9. T.J. Sorrentine (Vermont)

    The tiny guard whose 3-pointer “from the parking lot” buried Syracuse in the first round in 2005 is now the men’s associate basketball head coach at Brown.

  • 10. Jai Lewis (George Mason)

    George Mason’s emotional leader during its memorable run to the 2006 Final Four last played professional basketball in 2013 in Colombia. According to his Facebook page, Lewis appears to be living back in the Washington, D.C. area.

  • 11. Mike Gansey (West Virginia)

    The hero of the Mountaineers’ second round, double OT upset of Chris Paul-led Wake Forest in 2005 en route to the Elite Eight is back in his hometown as the Cleveland Cavaliers’ director of D-League operations.

  • 12. Jermaine Wallace (Northwestern State)

    The man whose “impossible three” sent No. 3 seed Iowa to an early exit in 2006 is living in Sibley, LA, and has worked at McNeese State University.

  • 13. Trevor Huffman (Kent State)

    Huffman led the Golden Flashes to the 2002 Elite Eight and is now a pro basketball and sports performance trainer/coach in Detroit.

  • 14. Fennis Dembo (Wyoming)

    Dembo was more than just a memorable name. He was a star for the Cowboys, leading the No. 12 seed to the 1987 Sweet Sixteen while averaging a tournament-leading 27.8 PPG.

    Dembo had a seven-year professional career (1988–1995) and, as of 2010, was back in his native San Antonio with hopes of finishing his college degree, obtaining a master’s or Ph.D. in civil engineering and becoming a university professor.

  • 15. Gabe Lewullis (Princeton)

    You may not remember the name but you remember the moment. Lewullis banked in a layup off a backdoor cut — the staple of his school’s eponymous offense — to shock defending champion and No. 4 seed UCLA, 43–41.

    Even as he’s become an accomplished orthopedic surgeon in the Philadelphia area, that basket remains Lewullis’ calling card.

  • 16. Patrick O’Bryant (Bradley)

    The dominant center who powered the Braves to the 2006 Sweet Sixteen was picked 9th overall in the 2006 NBA Draft but lasted just five years in the league. As of the end of 2014, O’Bryant was playing in Taiwan and, judging by the photo below, is apparently taking after Bobby Knight there.

  • 17. Ty Rogers (Western Kentucky)

    The Hilltoppers’ buzzer-beating, 3-point-making hero against Drake in 2008 is a cardiovascular account specialist at AstraZeneca, serving the Bowling Green, KY, area.

  • 18. Keith Smart (Indiana)

    Smart hit the game-winning shot in the waning moments of the 1987 championship game, which earned him MOP honors. He also became a March Madness legend in New Orleans’ Superdome, not far from his hometown of Baton Rouge.

    After retiring as a player in 1997, Smart has devoted his life to coaching. After a stint as the Sacramento Kings’ head coach, Smart is currently an assistant for the Miami Heat.

  • 19. Lorenzo Charles (NC State)

    It was over 30 years ago that Charles’ buzzer-beating slam dunk finished NC State’s upset for the ages in the 1983 national title game against heavily-favored Houston.

    Sadly, Charles — who played in six different countries during a 16-year professional career (1985–2001) — was killed in a June 2011 bus accident in Raleigh, NC, while driving for the Elite Coach charter bus company.

  • 20. Harold Jensen (Villanova)

    Jensen surprised just about everyone by scoring 14 huge points and going perfect from the field (5-5 FGs, 4-5 FTs) in the legendary 1985 title game upset of Georgetown.

    Jensen now makes his home within shouting distance of his alma mater while working as the executive vice present at Sparks, a Philadelphia marketing firm.

  • 21. Casey Calvary (Gonzaga)

    It was the forward’s tip-in off a missed basket that finished 10th-seeded Gonzaga’s upset over Florida, 73–72, in the 1999 Sweet Sixteen.

    After a six-year pro career spent almost entirely overseas, Calvary returned to Spokane, where he’s now a sales rep for the medical company Cyberonics.

  • 22. Mouse McFadden (Cleveland State)

    McFadden helped key 14th-seeded Cleveland State’s 83–79 upset of Indiana in the 1986 first round and 75–69 win over St. Joseph’s in the second for a trip to the Sweet Sixteen.

    McFadden was involved in an ugly lawsuit with his alma mater after CSU fired him from his job in the athletic department in 2003 — a firing McFadden alleged was racially motivated. He is now a nutrition specialist working for Cuyahoga (OH) County.

  • 23. Yinka Dare (George Washington)

    The George Washington Colonials reached the 1993 Sweet Sixteen before falling to the Fab Five. The catalyst: Dare, a 7-footer from Nigeria who appeared on his way to becoming the next Dikembe Mutombo.

    Dare entered the NBA with high expectations as the 14th overall pick by the New Jersey Nets, but an ACL injury sustained as a rookie would torpedo his career. Dare sadly died of a heart attack when he was just 31 years old in January of 2004.

  • 24. Tate George (UConn)

    Scott Burrell lofted a length-of-the-court pass to Tate George in the 1990 Sweet Sixteen, who came down with the pass before swishing a turnaround jumper as time expired.

    These days, however, that shot must feel like a lifetime ago. George was sent to prison in 2013 in conjunction with a $2 million Ponzi scheme in 2012.

  • 25. Tony Price (Penn)

    The 1979, No. 9 seed Penn team led by Price upset Iona, North Carolina, Syracuse and St. John’s before succumbing to eventual national champion Michigan State and Magic Johnson in the Final Four.

    Price’s NBA career lasted just five games with the Clippers in 1980, but he eventually settled into a solid career on Wall Street for an insurance brokerage firm. In addition, he experienced the joy of watching his son A.J. reach the 2009 Final Four with UConn exactly 30 years later.

  • 26. James Forrest (Georgia Tech)

    Forrest’s catch-and-heave 3-pointer with eight tenths of a second left, which sent No. 7 Georgia Tech over second-seeded USC in the second round of the ’92 tourney, is now legendary — as is late color commentator Al McGuire’s on-air reaction of “Holy mackerel!!!”

    Forrest played professionally in eight different countries from 1995–2006. He now runs an AAU basketball team in his hometown of Atlanta.

  • 27. Roosevelt Chapman (Dayton)

    The Flyers reached lofty heights with their Cinderella run to the 1984 Elite Eight. It was due in large part to Chapman, a prolific scorer who torched second-seeded Oklahoma for 41 points in the second round.

    Chapman now works as a middle school social studies teacher on an Indian reservation in Rapid City, SD.

  • 28. U.S. Reed (Arkansas)

    The Razorback whose desperation half-court heave downed defending champion Louisville in the 1981 second round is a real estate investor and ordained minister in his hometown of Pine Bluff, AR.

  • 29. Petey Sessoms (Old Dominion)

    Outdueling Villanova star Kerry Kittles to the tune of 35 points in the 1995 first round, Sessoms works as a supervisor for the United States Postal Service in North Hollywood, as of 2010.

  • 30. Curtis Blair (Richmond)

    Arguably the best player on a Spiders team which, in 1991, became the first No. 15 seed to defeat a No. 2 seed (Syracuse), Blair is hiding in plain sight as an NBA referee.

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