With the Atlantic Sun Championship on the line sophomore Adam Sollazzo was fouled and headed to the line with his team up one.
Sollazzo stood at the line and connected on both free throws of a one-and-one and did not scream or celebrate. He just turned pounded a small 43 on his chest and pointer skyward. Sollazzo wears number 43, but that has always been because last year his roommate Seth Coy wore 43. During the summer, Coy was killed in an auto accident.
The team wanted to honor their fallen player and did so by placing small number 43 patches on their uniforms. Sollazzo wanted to do more, so he changed his number to that of his former roommates.
“My whole freshman year he was there for me,” Sollazzo said. “Whenever I was home sick or anything he was always there to help. He was my best friend.”
Sollazzo has never forgotten his former roommate and before every game just like when they were freshman, Sollazzo talks to his friend.
“Every game after the national anthem I take a minute and talk to him,” Sollazzo said. “Tonight I told him I know you are going to be out there with us and lead us to victory.”
After claiming the Atlantic Sun title on Saturday night, ETSU held up a number 43 sign in honor of Seth Coy.
“It gives us that extra drive,” Tommy Hubbard said. “We think about him in every possession. We never forget how fortunate we are to be able to play.”
With the game on the line against Mercer, the Bears locked down Hubbard and Micah Williams as Sollazzo came open. The sophomore ran down floor and got fouled. The forward’s free throws hit almost every part of the rim and went in. Sollazzo knows why.
“A couple of those free throws hung on the rim a little bit and I know he (Seth) helped me push them in,” Sollazzo said. “Afterward, I pointed up just to thank him and told him I love him.”