Men's Basketball, WVU Sports

Kaden Metheny’s return to Morgantown begins a new chapter in his basketball journey

MORGANTOWN — Two thoughts run across Kaden Metheny’s mind when he thinks about his return to Morgantown.

For starters, his parents Gregg and Heidi, are hosting the Bowling Green men’s basketball team for dinner Thursday night, marking their son’s return home after a stellar prep career at University High.

“No, I didn’t really make any requests, but I’m worried if we’ll have enough plates,” Metheny said.

The second, Metheny will journey back across town with his teammates to the hotel following dinner.

“I’m going to be sleeping in a hotel in Morgantown, that just seems weird to me,” he said. “I mean, why would a kid from Morgantown need to sleep in a hotel in Morgantown?”

The rest is just basketball, as Metheny and the Falcons will take on West Virginia in a charity exhibition at 7 p.m. Friday, at the WVU Coliseum.

And Metheny — the 2020 Bill Evans Award winner as the state’s top high school player — can handle basketball, especially with what he dealt with last season.

After a solid freshman season that saw Metheny start 26 games while averaging 10.2 points, he suffered a high-ankle sprain last season early as a sophomore.

“We just couldn’t get it right, and we tried everything,” he said. “The team doctors were great and we went through different things, but it ended up being a long recovery process.”

Metheny was eventually told by Bowling Green coach Michael Huger to shut it down and Metheny was granted a medical redshirt.

It became a season of lost potential in Metheny’s mind.

“If you go back and look at my last five games during the regular season my freshman year, that’s when I felt I had sort of figured it out,” he said. “Division I basketball is such a big adjustment. You’re so used to doing certain things in high school, and then you find out that those things don’t work in college.

“So, I get to the end of that season and everything is starting to click. I had really high hopes heading into last season and then it came crashing down. It was devastating.”

He was a watcher rather than a player.

“It was the most basketball I had ever missed in my life,” Metheny said. “I kept trying to find positives. It did open my mind to just how much I love the game. I really don’t know where I’d be without it. I thought about that a lot and it kept me motivated to get healthy again.”

The ankle is back to 100%, and Metheny is set to start a new chapter that just happens to begin back in his hometown.

That chapter begins with a jersey change, too. His old No. 3 from his UHS days wasn’t available his first two seasons at Bowling Green, but that changed this year.

“I went running into our equipment room to get No. 3 back,” Metheny said. “I wore it in high school to represent the Holy Trinity. I had to get my old number back to sort of chase all the bad juju away from last year.”

His basketball career hasn’t taken him inside the Coliseum much, other than a few practices before state tournaments.

Metheny said he never really attended basketball camps there as a kid, but will never forget going to the games with his dad, including West Virginia’s upset over No. 2 UCLA back in 2007.

“It’s like a dream come true for me,” Metheny said. “I’m really grateful for this opportunity to be able to play in front of family and friends. I got a lot of tickets, so to have everyone there supporting me inside the Coliseum is going to be great.”

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