Dan D’Antoni is eager to catch up with Courtland Freeman.
One of his most accomplished players will join him Friday night as the pair will be inducted along with two others into the Socastee High School athletic hall of fame.
D'Antoni, who coached the boys basketball team for 28 years, Freeman, who starred at the school before earning a full scholarship to play at Georgetown University, former basketball standout Beth Hunt and longtime coach of several sports Frederick T. Kroll will be honored at halftime of the Braves' football game against West Florence on Friday night.
“It's always nice when people honor things that you've done. That's nice,” D'Antoni said Wednesday via phone from Huntington, W.Va., where he soon will begin his first season as head coach of men's basketball at Marshall, his alma mater.
“I look forward to it. I look forward to getting back to see old friends and people. I'm happy and glad to be going back.”
He said it will be his first time seeing Freeman since the former high school All-American's college days. Freeman graduated from Georgetown in 2004.
“I hope he's aged more than me,” D’Antoni quipped. “He’s certainly one of the great players to play at Socastee.”
Hunt was a two-time South Carolina player of the year in the 1980s and earned All-American honors from USA Today – which honored her as national player of the year in 1986 – Parade magazine and Kodak. She played at South Carolina and graduated from the university.
Kroll was at the school from 1971 through 2001 and coached basketball, football, tennis and softball.
D'Antoni, who won 500-plus games and 12 region titles, helped over 60 players land with college basketball programs and is the president and founder of the Beach Ball Classic, said Friday will be special.
“I’ve got a lot of good memories,” said D'Antoni, who spent several years as an assistant to his brother, Mike, in the NBA after leaving Socastee. “I raised my kids there [and my oldest son] Matt is still there. There's a lot of longtime friends there. Getting to see them, that's always good.”