D’Antoni believes homesickness played a part in Slay’s early departure from Herd hoops staff

By Bill Cornwell

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall men’s basketball head coach Dan D’Antoni says a case of homesickness likely cost the Thundering Herd its most recent addition to the coaching staff.

Former Herd basketball great Tamar Slay, a Beckley native who played in the NBA and European pro leagues for a decade, has resigned from his assistant coach position on the Marshall staff just a month after he was hired.

D’Antoni says Slay missed his family, who remained in Charlotte, after his hiring at Marshall.

“It was being away from the family,” D’Antoni said. “He needed to be home with his family so he’s going home to Charlotte, plus he has some businesses there.”

One of those businesses is Tamar Slay Basketball Enterprises, which identifies and creates opportunities to train, cultivate, educate, develop and promote basketball players, programs, events and facilities. .

Slay was taking part in leading limited offseason workouts for the Thundering Herd basketball team, which began two weeks ago.

Until Slay is replaced, D’Antoni will lead workouts along with remaining assistants Mark Cline and Cornelius Jackson.

D’Antoni and his staff will also work to fill the vacant position Slay left behind.

“It’s an attractive job and we just have to search again,” D’Antoni said.

Slay, a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School, scored 1,792 points in his Marshall career, putting him ninth place on the MU all-time scoring list. He’s also in second place on Marshall’s all-time list of three-pointers with 251, trailing only Austin Loop.

Slay was taken with the 54th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets where played for two seasons and made an appearance in the 2003 NBA Finals. In 2004, he was taken by the Charlotte Bobcats in the expansion draft.

After his time ended in the NBA, Slay played eight seasons in Europe, including seven in Italy.

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