The Virginia General Assembly took a few minutes before starting its marathon session to consider Gov. Bob McDonnell’s four vetoes and amendments to 134 bills to honor the state’s heroes of the moment--the Virginia Commonwealth University’s men’s basketball team.

Star players Brandon Rozzell and Bradford Burgess, now-household-name Coach Shaka Smart and VCU’s president and athletic director, were escorted to the floors of the House of Delegates and the state Senate, where they were presented with certificates of commendation. The team was honored for its five-game winning streak in the NCCA national tournament which unexpectedly brought them to the Final Four last weekend.

“The run from the first four to the Final Four, was amazing, it was inspirational , and it brought the city of Richmond just a little bit closer together, “ said Sen. Don McEachin (D-Henrico), who presented the team in the senate.

McEachin told colleagues about encountering a man outside a local Martin’s grocery store in Richmond. The man had a long beard and was wearing a gray cavalry hat “that reminded me of another day.”

“He took that hat off, snapped his seat, gave a yell and said ‘By God, they’ve done it!’” McEachin said. “And we embraced each other, right there, in front of the Martin’s grocery store.”