Where is Georgia State’s Stool?
Quick. Who won the 2015 NCAA men’s basketball tournament? While the details of that championship game might fade, few will forget Georgia State’s stool. In that year, unforgettably, Georgia State coach Ron Hunter fell off his stool near the conclusion of their monumental upset of a highly-ranked Baylor team.
Here’s the back story of Georgia State’s stool. During the post-game celebration of the Sun Belt Conference tournament championship, Coach Hunter ruptured his Achilles. Promptly, the Georgia State basketball support team went into crisis mode. Coach Hunter is one of the most animated coaches in the game, and he simply cannot stand, much less sit, still during a game. Georgia State athletic trainer Dinika Johnson provided coach Hunter with a few options to assist with his in-game mobility, including crutches, a knee walker and a knee crutch. As an afterthought, she placed the now-famous, $185, blue-cushioned stool in the team’s bus.
Fast forward to the closing seconds of the Baylor game. Georgia State was down two with the ball. When Georgia State guard R.J. Hunter, who is also coach Hunter’s son spotted up from well beyond the arc, coach Hunter was firmly planted on the stool. When R.J.’s game-winning shot splashed through the net, coach Hunter was on the hardwood in delirious celebration. Amid the excitement, coach Hunter had fallen off his stool.
Stoolsteria! The moment went viral. Television commentators Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith, who interviewed coach Hunter and R.J. rolled around on knee walkers on air.
For Georgia State’s next game against Xavier, the NCAA put its paws on the stool, mandating that it be padded as a protective measure. Against Xavier, Georgia State fell short, but the stool was not done. Weeks after the tournament, the stool appeared at the school’s spring football game and fans posed for pictures with it. At last year’s tournament when Georgia State faced Cincinnati in their first- round match-up, Georgia State brought along the stool for luck. As she reported her piece, sideline television reporter Jamie Erdahl sat on the stool.
So where’s Georgia State’s famous stool now?
It must be in encased in protective glass at a museum, under heavy guard, right? Nope. It’s sitting in Georgia State Associate Athletic Director Mike Holmes’ office, under a poster of R.J.’s historic three-pointer, ready to be rolled out at a moment’s notice. This is just a temporary solution. Georgia State plans on placing the stool in its Athletic Hall of Fame, which will be in Georgia State Stadium.
Duke has Cameron Indoor Stadium. North Carolina has the Dean Dome. Kentucky has Rupp Arena. But no one has the stool – and no one ever will. You simply cannot buy what this stool has experienced.
Follow Jon Hart @ManVersusBall
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