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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (KDKA) — Imagine for a minute that you are a college basketball player. You walk out onto the court with your teammates to start the second half when a guy in a dark quarter-zip walks out toward the court and calls your name.
But this isn’t just any guy in a blue sweater.
It’s football Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino.
Marino was at the Nova Southeastern University game in Fort Lauderdale Wednesday night when he found out that sophomore guard Nick Smith is from Pittsburgh. Marino wanted to meet his fellow Steel City native, so he walked right out to the edge of the court and called Nick’s name.
Marino grew up in South Oakland, and went to Central Catholic High School before moving on to Pitt and then a Hall of Fame career with the Miami Dolphins.
What he didn’t know is that Nick, a 2017 North Hills graduate and former First-Team All-State basketball player, is a lifelong Pitt fan.
The two of them embraced and chatted for a couple seconds before Smith and the Nova Sharks improved to 18-2 on the season by beating Rollins 87-58. Smith has started all 20 games for Nova Southeastern this season and averages 8.6 points per game, including a season best 18 points against St. Leo in December.
There is also another western Pennsylvania tie-in.
Jordan Fee is an assistant coach for the Sharks. He is from Grove City, Pennsylvania, and was a four-year starter at point guard for the Eagles where he played for his dad, Don Fee, one of the winningest basketball coaches in the region.
One final question.
Why was Dan Marino at a Division II college basketball game in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday night?
He was there to see his son, Joey, who is the Nova Southeastern University men’s golf coach.