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Seth Greenberg, Brad Greenberg maintain brotherly bond

Radford's Brad Greeenberg, left, and Virginia Tech's Seth Greenberg talk most days and see each other's games when they can.
Radford's Brad Greeenberg, left, and Virginia Tech's Seth Greenberg talk most days and see each other's games when they can. (Don Petersen/associated Press)
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By John Feinstein
Sunday, March 7, 2010

About two hours after Brad Greenberg's Radford basketball team lost to Winthrop in the semifinals of the Big South basketball tournament on Thursday night, his phone rang.

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"You guys couldn't make a shot," Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg told his big brother. "Tough to win -- even if you play good defense -- if you can't shoot."

The two brothers talked for a while about their mom and their families, and then -- inevitably -- more basketball.

"The difference between Brad and me is when he loses I wait a couple hours and call and he's fine," Seth Greenberg said. "When I lose he just texts me. Then he calls me the next day."

Brad and Seth Greenberg have been bonded as brothers and as basketball lifers since they were kids growing up on Long Island. Brad, who is 55, was a star at John F. Kennedy High School in Plainview, N.Y. Seth, two years younger, was his back-court mate when he was a sophomore and Brad was a senior.

"I was his inbounder," Seth said. "He did the rest."

"I would give him the ball back to dribble for a while if I got tired," Brad said. "Of course, I never got tired of shooting."

Almost 40 years later, they coach 15 miles down the road from each other: Seth in the Big Time -- the ACC -- Brad in the Big South. Brad has climbed the basketball mountain -- he was the general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers and drafted Allen Iverson in 1996 -- and is now happy and comfortable coaching in a one-bid conference far from the bright lights of the NBA or, for that matter, the ACC.

Seth has inched his way up, working for years as an assistant coach before getting his first head coaching job at Long Beach State. From there he moved to South Florida and then, in 2003, to Virginia Tech. Right now, for a third straight season, his Hokies are unsure of an NCAA tournament berth as they enter the ACC tournament. Brad has no tournament bubbles to worry about: A year ago, Radford won the Big South title and played North Carolina in the first round of the NCAA tournament. This year, Thursday's loss meant there would be no repeat performance.

As close as the two brothers are, they are very different. Seth is wound tighter, is more of a worrier, a detail-aholic.

"He takes Ambien to sleep at night," Brad said. "I don't even need a glass of wine."

"I always think you need to come up with three different plays to get your best shooter open on a possession," Seth said. "Brad always says, 'Just tell him to get open.' "


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