‘I Wear This Blue And White With Pride’: Penn State Hoops’ Seniors Reflect On Legacy Following NCAA Tournament Exit

After a crushing 71-66 loss to Texas in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, seniors Myles Dread, Seth Lundy, and Jalen Pickett’s collegiate careers came to a bitter end.

With 11 combined seasons to show for, all three players cemented themselves in the Penn State basketball hall of fame as they capped off their final season in one of, if not the best, runs in program history. After the game, Dread reflected on what it meant for him to put on a Nittany Lions jersey.

“I wear this blue and white with pride,” Dread said. “I’m so, so thankful for everything this university has ever given me, for the people I’ve met, [and] the relationships I’ve built.”

Through his five seasons with Penn State, Dread became one of the most lethal shooters in program history, went through three different coaches, had a season cutoff due to the coronavirus, and capped off his final season with a win in the NCAA Tournament. Needless to say, it has been quite the whirlwind career for Dread.

Before he even set foot in the Bryce Jordan Center, Dread had one singular goal in mind.

“My goal coming to Penn State was to leave it better than I [found] it,” he said. “And I feel like we did that, we accomplished that for sure.”

Coming just a year after Dread was Lundy. The 6’6,” Paulsboro, New Jersey, native turned heads his freshman year with not only his offensive game, but his lengthy, stout, and tenacious defense.

Like Dread, Lundy went through a trio of coaches and a promising season cut short due to the pandemic. Even after Pat Chambers was fired, Lundy stuck it out with his teammate and took a chance on Micah Shrewsberry, who was going into his first season as head coach. Lundy stayed because he loved Penn State, but even more so, loved the fans.

Although Lundy still technically has another year left of eligibility due to COVID-19 exemption season, when the topic of what he wanted his legacy to be, his mind immediately went to the people who have cheered him on for four years.

“I feel for the fans,” Lundy said. “They’ve been waiting for a moment like this for a long time. I feel like we had a good run. We had a lot of ups and downs, but we made things work out through the end of the season. I hope they just remember us for giving it all we got.”

The final piece of this miraculous Penn State basketball team puzzle came on April 25, 2021, when Pickett announced that he would be transferring from Siena to the blue and white in Happy Valley. After a slow first half start to his first season as a Nittany Lion, Pickett quickly grew into the go-to guy for Shrewsberry.

In his second year, the 6’4″ guard grew into one of the best guards in the nation as he collected All-American honors among countless others. More importantly, Pickett left behind one of the greatest accomplishments of them all: willing Penn State to the NCAA Tournament.

“I hope our legacy is it’s the first team that got them here in a while,” Pickett said. “And I hope they get here a bunch of times after this.”

Through it all, all three players couldn’t help being emotional in a season where they felt they had more to give. As Dread reflected that he “ran the clock out” and “had fun doing it” throughout his tenure at Penn State, he will always remember the people who he shared the court with.

“These guys [Pickett and Lundy], and Coach Shrews, my teammates from past years as well, I will never forget those memories,” Dread said. “Those guys know that they can always call me and they have a friend in me.”

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About the Author

Tobey Prime

Tobey is a senior studying broadcast journalism from Lancaster, PA. He is a major Pittsburgh sports fan and Miami Heat fanatic. When Tobey isn't writing for Onward State, you can catch him looking at photos of his pugs. Send your best insults to [email protected] or sports takes to @tobey_prime on Twitter.

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