WC Basketball Coach Goes Hollywood

By The Elm - Sep 29,2012@10:45 am

By BJ Poss
Elm Staff Writer

On Oct. 19 Washington College’s head basketball coach Robert Nugent will be trading in his clipboard and tennis shoes for a movie script and video camera.

Last season, when WC traveled to Gettysburg to play the Bullets during senior day, history was made. When senior Cory Weissman stepped to the free throw line he was trying to earn the first points of his college career. Initially, this sounds miniscule in the grand scheme of things, but it was what happened to Weissman three years earler that makes this feat so worth remembering.

During a team weight lifting session in 2009, Weissman suffered a stroke mid rep, paralyzing the entire left side of his body. He spent the next two years attempting to defy odds and make it back to the basketball court one last time.

Fast forward to February of last year, Weissman got his chance. Still not able to fully sprint and use the left side of his body like he once could, Weissman was able to muster up enough strength to trot onto the court in the waning moments of the final game of his college career. Coach Nugent then made the decision to give Weissman his one shot at finally getting into the stat column by intentionally fouling him to send him to the free throw line. After rimming out on the first shot Weissman made his second shot with no doubt, causing the already standing crowd to erupt in an uproar at Gettysburg’s gym.

Then-freshmen Sean Flanigan was the player who intentionally fouled Cory to send him to the line, giving him the opportunity he had been longing for since the stroke.

“At the time I was just doing what coach asked us to do, I didn’t really think much of it,” he said. “But looking back at it now it’s pretty cool and feels good to be the one that gave him that opportunity.”

Even though Flanigan was so directly related to Cory’s story, he was not approached about being in the movie.

“I’m not gonna lie I was a little salty about it, but it doesn’t really bother me at all at this point,” he said. “It was all for Cory. I have absolutely no regrets, I was just trying to do the right thing and give him his chance. I feel good for Cory and to be a part of something that is going to be with him for the rest of his life.”

When asked about the subject, Coach Nugent expressed that he thought that the final buzzer of this game would be the end of the Cory Weissman story; this is where he was wrong. Last spring, ESPN did a short documentary covering the story where both Coach Nugent and player Sean Flannigan were interviewed. It aired on the Feb. 25 edition of College Gameday.

Then in late July, Coach Nugent was approached by a movie producer, asking if he would consider playing himself in a movie featuring the Weissman story.

“I was surprised that there was going to be a movie in the first place. I thought that the story would help a lot of people but didn’t expect anything like this. I had heard rumors coming from other coaches in the conference that a movie was coming up but never took it seriously,” said Nugent. “The joke of the summer through the Centennial Conference coaching line was: When’s the movie coming out?”

After some initial deliberation, Nugent decided that he would take the producer up on his offer and take the part in the movie. Nugent expressed that he wasn’t nervous about the upcoming role, but decided not to comment when about his acting skills. When asked if he would pursue an acting career, Nugent said he would stick with basketball.

The scene featuring Nugent will be shot at Gettysburg’s gym. He said he will be contacting the producer to ask if there was any chance that WC students would be able to participate in the filmed cheering section.

“If there’s going to be a cheering section, there have to be some Washington College fans in there too,” he said.

So keep your ears open if you’re looking to get a little face time as an extra to begin your path to Hollywood’s Walk of Fame this could be your shot.

Nugent ended the interview by quoting Weissman, “The sky is the limit.”

The Elm

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