Bob Huggins Tailgate Set for Tuesday in Charleston - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Bob Huggins Tailgate Set for Tuesday in Charleston

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MORGANTOWN -

It's not often that tailgates get associated with college basketball games, but that's precisely what is happening Tuesday night as WVU fans flock to Charleston for the annual Capital Classic.

The Bob Huggins Tailgate will take place the night before West Virginia tips off against Marshall from the Moose Lodge at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30.

Just as the Bob Huggins Fish Fry got fans together for a good cause prior to the football edition of the rivalry, the Tailgate will benefit the Remember the Miners scholarship program as well as the Norma Rae Huggins cancer research endowment fund.

"It's pretty much just a celebration for Coach Huggins and how much we appreciate them and also to show our miners appreciation and raise some money for cancer research," says Cam Payne, a former WVU basketball player who is coordinating the event for Remember the Miners.

Payne also helped put together the Fish Fry in Morgantown and says they're looking forward to bringing a similar event to fans in a different part of the state.

"We're down closer to southern West Virginia, which is coal country and we feel like it's a better way to kind of get more in touch with our coal miners of the state and we're really excited about coming to the southern part of the state and we look forward to continue doing that," he says.

The night will feature music from the band Taylor Made as well as photo opportunities with the Big East championship trophy and the NCAA Final Four trophy from Payne's senior season at WVU. There will also be a raffle for Mountaineer memorabilia throughout the event.

Huggins has embraced both of these foundations and considers their work to be one of the most important things he's involved himself with since returning to West Virginia.

Still, despite his passion for what the event stands for, Huggins has a game the next night that will likely require him to make an early exit.

"The event is special because he's there, but regardless of how long he stays it'll be special because we're paying tribute to our state's coal miners and the hard work that they do," says Payne.

Having a former player like Payne helping to put something like this together is a source of pride for Huggins, who says he's never surprised by the way his old students continue to help him after leaving his team.

"Here, you represent the University, you're at a great university, and you represent the state and the people here in this state," says Huggins. "Our guys know that and they understand that. It's neat that they come back and help, but the honest to God truth is I'd be surprised if they didn't."

For Payne, there's no limit to the lengths he'd go to show support to his coach.

"I would go above and beyond and out of my way for Coach Huggins, especially in regards to his national perception. He'll never talk about the good things that he does, but as great of a basketball coach as he is, he's an even better person and he cares so much about the people of this state and it's good that I can contribute to that."

Fans who would like to attend can purchase individual tickets for $50 or a table of 10 for $750 by emailing Payne at Cam@RememberTheMiners.org or calling 304-553-2656.

Tickets are expected to be available at the door as well.

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