When Barton Community College head basketball coach Craig Fletchall watched the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship Final Four this past weekend at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, it was the fifth of its kind he’s attended over the years.
“I went to my first one in Seattle in 1989, when Rumeal Robinson (of Michigan) hit the game-winning basket,” Fletchall said. “I’ve been to Indianapolis a couple times, San Antonio and now Atlanta.
“It’s good. There was the National Association of Basketball Coaches convention, and you get to see a lot of people.”
Fletchall was accompanied by Cougars assistant coach Matt Hundley for the convention. The duo also took the opportunity to do some Atlanta-area recruiting for the 2013-14 season.
“It was more recruiting, honestly,” Fletchall said. “We made some school and home visits, along with seeing some workouts.
“That’s the one thing with the success we’ve had with Algie (Key).”
Key, a 6-foot-4 guard and two-time third-team National Junior College Athletic Association All-America selection the past two seasons for Barton, hails from Decatur, Ga.
“He’s got a name in-and-around the Atlanta area,” Fletchall said. “I think it’s helped us recruit in that area.”
The NABC convention is a conglomeration of coaches from all levels across the nation.
“I’ve been in the NABC for over 20 years and you see a lot of the same faces,” Fletchall said. “It’s a unique setting. Coaches are looking for jobs. It was fun to have Coach Hundley along.”
Being a longtime Syracuse fan, Fletchall didn’t have a favorite after Michigan beat Syracuse in Saturday’s national semifinal game.
Louisville toppled Michigan 82-76 on Monday night to win the national championship.
“Going to the game as a fan is always neat,” Fletchall said. “Being a part of 75,000 people, the largest crowd to see a championship game, was fun ... watching the confetti drop.
“If it weren’t for the recruiting part of it, I probably wouldn’t go anymore. It’s a little exhausting, but it’s always a good way to climax the year, no matter if you had a good season or a bad season.”