Like Mark Workman, Jerry West, Hot Rod Hundley and others from the old Kanawha Valley Conference, Price thrilled local fans by signing with West Virginia. He suffered horrific knee issues at WVU that ended his dreams of a pro career, and should have ended his college career, but he would not disappoint the fans in his home state. He played in great pain at WVU from 1970-72, often guarded the opposing team's best player and still averaged almost eight points and five rebounds in his career.
Throughout his playing career, Price was known for playing the game the right way. His high school teammate Phillips shared this story.
"We were playing Parkersburg and winning by about 17 points in the second half," Phillips said. "One of their guards was talking trash to Sonny Burls and Sonny kept telling him, 'Look at the scoreboard, look at the scoreboard.'
"Curt came over to Sonny and reminded him that type of behavior was not necessary. Trash talking and technical fouls were not acceptable to Coach Romano or to Curt, and he refused to let us act that way."
After working professionally with the Job Corps in many parts of the country, Price moved back to Charleston in 2012. It is good to have him back.
He is not only a part of our basketball history, but also our music history. He loves music as much as basketball. He played piano as a youngster and then switched to guitar. In a story with Gazette writer Sandy Wells in March of 2008, he talked about playing with the King Sound Interpreters and touring in Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach and Atlanta.
In college he played with a band that toured in Boston and New Jersey. One day he played a Saturday afternoon basketball game in Morgantown and a dance that night in Fairmont. A young Stevie Wonder walked in since he happened to be playing a concert in Fairmont. He asked if he could sit in on drums. Little did Stevie know he wasn't the biggest celebrity in the Holiday Inn that night.
Stevie Wonder wrote and performed "Sir Duke," but in this area, Curt Price will always be known as "The King."
Reach Frank Giardina at fl...@hotmail.com.