It happens every March. Someone captures America’s heart while they lead a team deep in the NCAA Tournament.
Last year it was Loyola-Chicago’s Sister Jean, the team’s now-99-year-old chaplain, during the Ramblers’ improbable trip to the Final Four. More than a decade ago, it was Steph Curry’s turn, as he torched the nets for the Davidson Wildcats on the way to the Elite Eight.
Could this year’s darling of the Big Dance be a player who has already surpassed Curry in career 3-pointers made? Wofford’s Fletcher Magee might prove to be just that when the tournament tips off next week.
Magee and his Terriers secured an automatic bid to the tournament on Monday with a 70-58 victory over UNC-Greensboro in the Southern Conference Tournament championship game. Many experts, however, thought Wofford had done enough with a spotless conference record and a 29-4 overall mark to merit an at-large bid regardless.
Magee poured in 20 points and four more 3-pointers in the conference championship game, adding to his already-remarkable career totals. He’s amassed 502 made 3-pointers, second only to Oakland’s Travis Bader in NCAA Division I. Magee is only two behind Bader and has a chance to pass him on college basketball’s biggest stage.
But there is more to Magee than excellence on the basketball court. He calls himself a Christian and was a member of FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) in high school, when he went on three missions trips to the Dominican Republic to help build homes. He was also an instructor at various sports camps for kids, all while earning a spot on his school’s academic honor roll all four years.
When Magee declared for the NBA Draft after a productive season last year, he thanked God for the position he was in. He didn’t hire an agent so he could return to Wofford for his senior season. After a few workouts with NBA teams and a better understanding of his draft prospects, he made the decision to come back to school.
After talking with my coaches and family I have decided to declare for the NBA draft. None of this would be possible it it weren't for my coaches and teammates. I thank God for this opportunity. I will not hire an agent so I can keep my eligibility and return to wofford next year pic.twitter.com/XpEfQCi765
— Fletcher Magee (@magee_fletcher) March 20, 2018
Now in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in his career, Magee and his teammates have a chance to show the country what they can do. Yet the Terriers aren’t just happy to be there, they have expectations to meet.
Everyone knows a lot of Wofford’s success rides on Magee’s right arm, as he’s hit threes at a 43-percent clip this season. He, his team and all who support them know a cold steak could spell an early exit, but a hot streak could propel the Terriers past the second round to heights never before reached in program history.
With his unorthodox shooting motion and penchant for hitting deep threes at clutch moments, Magee is certain to catch someone’s attention next week. Besides, a name like Fletcher Magee just sounds like someone bound for stardom.
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