MULLENS - Don Nuckols was a lot of things in Wyoming County - championship coach, teacher, principal. He was also one heck of a storyteller.

He was asked his thoughts of the night an Oceana woman, unhappy with Nuckols' antics during the Rebels game with the rival Indians, reached over the railing and poured her cup of Coke on the coach's head.

"I thought it was a tremendous waste of pop," Nuckols said.

There was the night he scrimmaged an up-and-coming coach, Dave Barksdale and Woodrow Wilson in the late 1980s, after Barksdale had taken over as head coach of his alma mater.

"We beat them first quarter, the second quarter, the third quarter and I asked coach, 'Can we run some of the JV (scrimmage) now," Nuckols said. "He says 'one more.' So we play and we win. I say coach, 'let's play the JVs. He says 'one more.' And it goes on like that for awhile and finally I said, 'Look coach, we can do this all night, but you're not going to beat me."

Such was the faith he had in his squad.

Barksdale would go on to win five state titles in the 1990s.

Nuckols also has five state titles, in 1970, 1972 and 1982-83-84.

The one thing Barksdale has that Nuckols does not, is the court at the Raleigh County Convention Center is now known as Dave Barksdale Court.

A local group would like to honor their late coach Don Nuckols the same way.

"It really is hard to believe that this hasn't happened yet," said one of the group's organizers, Nathan England.

England, who has organized charity all-star basketball games in Mullens for the last several years, was a student at Mullens when Nuckols was the principal at the school. It was at one such game that Nuckols let on that it was an honor he had hoped for in the past.

"He kind of said, 'You know, having a floor named after you is a really nice honor,'" England said.

It was something England didn't forget.

He and Herbie Brooks, one of the legendary figures in Mullens basketball lore who still holds the state tournament record with 50 points in a game, recently went to the Board of Education meeting.

"What we found out is, it's not really that hard to accomplish," England said of naming the court. "There really isn't anything to it. They told us to get some petitions and we plan on going back to the next board meeting."

England said the Facebook petition had been signed by 900 people after just two days.

He also planned to take petitions around town and to the Westside vs. Wyoming East game Friday night.

"I don't have a solid deadline on when I want to do this, but Herbie and I will go back to the next board meeting and present the petitions," England said. "I thought a good time might be during Christmas break, when the kids are off for two weeks. That would give us several days to get the job done."

England said he figures he can get local artists and painters to take care of the name on the floor. He said the group would also like to put a plaque on the wall commemorating the event.

"I would figure that this could be done for $500," England said. "And I have had some of the people I've talked to about it tell me that money won't be a problem."

He has coach Nuckols' brother Aubrey on board, as well as Nuckols' daughters. He also has heard from a lot of former players, opposing coaches and folks in the basketball community overall. Robert C. Byrd coach Bill Bennett signed the petition.

"I know that this would mean a lot to a lot of people." England said.

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