MORGANTOWN — University High point guard Kaden Metheny was far from the most well-known player on the court Dec. 26 at thy Myrtle Beach Convention Center when the Hawks faced Cox Mill (N.C.).
The Chargers featured 6-foot-5 forward and 5-star Duke commit Wendell Moore, who, according to Rivals.com, is the No. 26 overall prospect in the nation. With all of the hype surrounding Moore, Metheny was all but forgotten … until the opening tip.
The crowd in Myrtle Beach quickly realized that the undersized guard from West Virginia was nothing to swat at as he slowly became a crowd favorite. Metheny couldn’t miss from beyond the arc, tying a Beach Ball Classic record with nine 3-pointers and finished with 35 points — the same as the highly-touted Moore.
Even in a loss, it was a performance that put Metheny, a junior, on the map at the national level, but there were a few people in the stands who were not close to surprised.
Though, it maybe meant a little bit more to Metheny.
His mother, Heidi, made the trip south despite being in the middle of chemotherapy treatments for a cancerous tumor discovered during a screening in September.
After Heidi’s stepfather passed away in November 2017, she and her husband, Gregg, decided to get screenings. Once Gregg went through with his, Heidi knew there was no backing out.
“Once he did it, I knew I knew couldn’t go back,” she said. “It was just a regular screening and praise God that I did.”
The screening showed a tumor and Heidi was diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer and began receiving Chemotherapy in October.
In the midst of Chemo treatments, though, Heidi kept a positive attempt and outlook, and wasn’t about to miss a chance to watch Kaden play basketball.
“I’m just so proud of him and he’s given us so many moments that we’ll remember forever,” Heidi said.
“It’s been fun and I can’t believe they’re juniors already — high school has been so fast.
“It’s just fun watch him do his thing and get to play with his buddies. Those boys are all a part of our family. That’s been really nice also.”
Kaden, who has two brothers — Nathan, 21, and Treyson, 8 — knows it can be tough for his mom at times to watch him, but he appreciates that she’s always there regardless of how she’s feeling.
“With what she is going through and for her to still be at every game and supporting me is amazing,” Metheny said. “It really does show how special of a mom she is. When I see her going through what she is but still live her life as she always has, I know there are bigger things in life than just basketball.”
Perhaps one of the most notable things Kaden inherited from his mom is his height. Heidi stands at
4-foot-10, and while Kaden’s 5-foot-10 is big in comparison, his detractors believe his height is what is keeping him garnering major interest at the collegiate level.
Metheny holds offers from Drexel, Western Carolina, Youngstown State and S.C. Upstate, but he isn’t ready to make any decision on his future in hopes of possibly adding a few more inches to his frame, especially since he is only a junior.
More importantly, he wants to take the Hawks to the next step after losing in the state semifinals the last two seasons.
“My main focus is on the season right now and I’m just going to let the recruitment play out.”