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Gaughan Returns to Martinsville High School for Hoops and Advice

Brendan Gaughan’s favorite thing about Martinsville , Va. , isn’t the speedway where the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will race on Saturday afternoon. His favorite thing about Martinsville is the championship Martinsville High School basketball team and Coach Troy Wells.

Gaughan, who was a member of Georgetown University ’s basketball team (1993-1997) and was coached under legendary coach John Thompson, has been a regular at the school’s basketball gymnasium since 2003. Each year, he comes and brushes up on his basketball skills for a couple of hours with the team. He also takes the time to meet with the student-athletes to talk about the importance of staying in school and graduating from college.

“When I first got into the Craftsman Truck Series, my public relations person at the time took this idea that I played college basketball and used it as an opportunity to get exposure for us and go talk to high school kids,” Gaughan said. “The first school that we did it with was Martinsville High School . Coach Wells brought me in and let me talk to the kids and work out with them.

“Back then, I didn’t really know what I was supposed to do. But now, I have refined it and I have been lucky to go talk to other students in other areas of the country.”

Gaughan offers advice to the students that he once got from his mentor and coach at Georgetown . Although he enjoys talking to the students and answering their questions he has the most fun working out with them.

“The older I get though, the tougher it is getting to run with his kids. The first year I did, I think I played four or five games. I think last year, I played like two or three,” Gaughan said. “Thankfully, Coach Wells makes an old man look good. He always stops at just about the time I’m about to have a heart attack. He says ‘OK, it’s time to talk.’ I love doing it, and as long as he likes having me and the kids like having me around, I’ll keep doing it. Each year there are new, incoming kids on that team. I have a team to root for, and I even have some kids that I talked to in the past who are playing sports in college now, which is kind of cool.”

© 2007 Cyber Speed Design