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Georgia State Coach Ron Hunter tears Achilles’ celebrating NCAA berth (updated)

Georgia State’s R.J. Hunter celebrates with his father, Coach Ron Hunter. (Sean Gardner / Getty Images)

There was a great deal of celebrating when Georgia State’s ticket to the NCAA tournament was punched with a 38-36 victory over Georgia Southern on Sunday and nobody celebrates with more enthusiasm than Panthers coach Ron Hunter.

Unfortunately, the irrepressible coach says he tore his Achilles as he jumped up and down in utter jubilation and had to be helped off the court, with pain that he said was a “17” on a 1-10 scale.

[Kevin Ware is headed back to the NCAA tournament]

“To be honest with you, I saw the kid shoot the ball. I saw the red lights go off…and I jumped up. I tore my Achilles’ years ago on the right side playin’ basketball when I was 26 years old,” Hunter told reporters, “and it was the exact same feeling. I knew when I jumped up. I hadn’t jumped that high probably in 26 years. I knew when I came down I had done it and instead of stopping right there, I wanted to go celebrate with my team and, more importantly, I wanted to go celebrate with my son [R.J., who plays for the Panthers].”

Hunter is known for turning it up to 11 with his celebrations. In 2003, Hunter, then the IUPUI coach, “stomped up and down the sideline in a resplendent, $3,000 brown suit that was made for him after he tore his Sunday-best outfit with a belly flop to celebrate the Jaguars’ Mid-Continent championship,” the Associated Press reported.

On Sunday, he returned to the court on crutches and helped cut down the nets, which were lowered for him.

“I’m actually embarrassed by this,” Hunter said, “because it takes away honestly from what these kids have done.”

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