Next year, Ty Jerome plans to be playing in the NBA, but for now, the Virginia Cavalier is still soaking up all of the great moments that come as a result of being part of his school's first men's basketball national championship team.
ONE SHINING MOMENT: The best moments from the 2019 NCAA men's basketball tournament
On Saturday afternoon, Jerome threw out the first pitch before Virginia's baseball game against Florida State, sending the ball past the catcher and home plate. The junior was all smiles after the throw and embraced the catcher before walking off the field. The experience of being a school hero will likely carry Jerome through the remainder of his time at Virginia, and it's well earned after a record-breaking March Madness run.
Jerome and his teammates won the 2019 men's NCAA tournament earlier this month, defeating Texas Tech 85-77 in overtime to take home the national trophy for the first time in school history and complete the redemption tour that started after last year's tournament loss to UMBC. He finished the game, his final game ever in a Cavaliers jersey, with 16 points, bringing his season total point average to 13.6 a game. Jerome also averaged 4.2 rebounds and 5.5. assists during the championship year.
Four members of the 2019 tournament team including Jerome, Kyle Guy, De'Andre Hunter and Mamadi Diakite have declared for the draft, but even without those star players, Virginia cannot be ignored heading into the 2019-2020 season. By leading his team to a national championship title after suffering one of the biggest upsets in NCAA history, Virginia head men's basketball coach Tony Bennett proved he should never be doubted. Now, he just has to hope that he'll have another national championship team member throwing out a first pitch next year.