Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hall of Fame: Deron Washington

The Gobbler Country Hall of Fame will be a regular feature on this blog in which I honor players, coaches and moments in Virginia Tech history that I see fitting of Hall of Fame status. On-field performance will not be enough to gain entry to the Hall of Fame. Mostly, it's just going to be a list of my favorite people and moments in Tech history. It's my Hall of Fame and I'll do what I want with it. The first honoree is Deron Washington, whose Hokie career recently came to a close.

There are many reasons Deron Washington is today's inductee into the Gobbler Country Hall of Fame. His abilities on the court made fans leap from their seats constantly during his career. His demeanor and perseverance off the court made him one of the most likable basketball players to put on a Hokie uniform.

But for all the dunks, blocked shots and mushroom stamps of Greg Paulus, I'll remember Deron for doing something I had always wanted to do. He kicked Lee Melchionni in the face. Of all the white, untalented, unlikable players to play for Duke, Melchionni was one of the whitest and least likable. And on Jan. 26, 2006, Deron did this:

Love it. And that was a block, by the way. Nice flop, Lee.

But Hokie fans will probably mostly remember Deron for his leaping ability, which allowed him to make Cassell Coliseum roar with high-flying dunks and spectacular blocked shots.

Deron didn't just create spectacular moments with his athleticism. He also had a flair for the dramatic. He hit a jumper with under 10 seconds left to beat Illinois in the 2007 NCAA Tournament and also hit a buzzer-beater to give Virginia Tech its first win in Charlottesville since 1968 on Jan. 16, 2008.

It is with great honor that I make Deron Washington the first inductee into the Gobbler Country Hall of Fame. For making Hokie fans gawk at his ability to soar, tearing out UVa's heart and kicking hatable Dukies in the face, he is a perfect choice as the first inductee.

No comments: