Daxter Miles Jr. couldn’t have dreamed of a better senior night.
After an emotional pregame ceremony electrified the crowd and the Mountaineers, No. 20 West Virginia opened the game with 16 unanswered points on the road to an 84-74 victory over No. 12 Texas Tech.
“The perfect senior night,” said Miles with a smile. “We won, my family is here, the crowd was involved.”
Both Miles and fellow senior guard Jevon Carter walked the carpet one final time before the game, alongside their families and friends. Each senior fought back tears as he made his way toward head coach Bob Huggins.
For Miles, the moment was a culmination of years of effort, dating back to his childhood, where he grew up in the projects of East Baltimore City.
Monday, he walked the carpet alongside his twin sister, Diamond, who helped keep him steady as he saluted thousands of Mountaineer fans.
“Growing up where I grew up, a lot of people don’t get a chance like this. It just means everything,” said Miles. “The fans, I’ve made a lot of new friends, and this state – this state is different than a lot of states I’ve been to.”
Carter, who had just tallied his 500th assist two nights before, shared a long embrace with Huggins, burying his head into his coach’s chest. He said he can’t describe the emotions of that moment.
“If you know what we’ve been through these four years, you wouldn’t have words for it, either,” said Carter.
At the end of the pregame ceremony, Carter and Miles added a unique gesture to their senior night: they knelt down at midcourt and kissed the Flying WV emblem inside the circle.
“I’ve done a lot of senior nights, obviously. I’ve never seen two seniors get down and kiss the floor like they did and mean it,” said Huggins. “Those two guys love this place, love the program, are and will be forever committed to the people of this university and the people in this state, which is an awesome thing.”
Though Monday marked the final time that Carter and Miles will play at the WVU Coliseum, Miles was quick to point out that there’s still more work to do.
“It ain’t over yet,” said Miles. “We’re trying to go, and we’re trying to go far.”