Earlier this week, South Carolina head coach Frank Martin wrote a letter to Gamecock Nation that was posted on The Players' Tribune. A long piece, Martin spent a lot of time reflecting on his five years at South Carolina and how much the support he's received from the Gamecock community means to him.
"I’m a Miami guy, so I know a little something about people in big cities," read an excerpt from the letter. "In a big city, when it comes to college sports, a lot of times people make noise on only two occasions: When you’re winning — and when it’s time to fire the coach.
"But that’s not how it works in Columbia. Our fans started showing up even when we weren’t winning. They began supporting this team just based on the heart and commitment our players were showing on the court."
Martin also spent time talking about what's happened in the NCAA Tournament recently. The Gamecocks are in the midst of a historic run that currently has them in the Sweet 16. South Carolina defeated Marquette in the first round for their first NCAA Tournament win in 44 years before pulling off a huge upset win over Duke in the second round.
After the win over the Blue Devils, it was clear that Martin was experiencing a lot of emotions, and he verified that in his letter.
"As I walked over to shake Coach K’s hand, I felt chills go up and down my body," Martin wrote. "It really hit me all at once that we were advancing to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in school history. When we met at half court, the winningest coach in college basketball history told me something that I know I’m never going to forget: “Frank, you’ve got a great team. You’re building something special here.
"And when he said that, combined with all the other thoughts whirling around my head, it made me tear up right then and there."
**Photo by Allen Sharpe**