Did you know that the Team Manager is the #1 player on the UVA Basketball team? But not for long. The oversized jersey #1 with VIRGINIA across the back will soon be replaced with a #55 KERSEY jersey.
Team Manager Grant Kersey is perfection, still shooting 100%. When 6'1" 150-pound Kersey takes the floor and drills three-pointers and free throws, the crowd erupts. Why wouldn’t they? Kersey’s an Albermarle HS graduate, a local made good, a walk-on Team Manager now playing on the #4 team in the nation.
“It's awesome, it's such a cool feeling,” Kersey admitted. "I never thought I'd be on the other side of it. I remember as a kid being at the games always waiting for the walk-ons to get in. Now just to see that when I'm in there, it's surreal."
THE UPSIDE OF THE STORY? The hero of UVA basketball is not the one who stands above the best, it’s the one who served the rest.
“I always talk about how our managers just give, give, give,” said Virginia head coach Tony Bennett. In his third year as Team Manager, Kersey works 20-24 hours a week setting up equipment, collecting rebounds, mopping up, and playing against his own team. Bennett explains, “They are true servants, and when you get the chance to reward that, you don’t pass it up.”
Kersey’s thoughts? He’s just plain thankful to have a jersey. And though he’s earned one with his own name and his own size, he says, "I kind of like the ‘Virginia’ on the back. It’s cool.”
That attitude is cool. Want to see him sink a three-pointer?
Photo Creds: Jon Golden