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A McMusical Journey: Buckhannon’s Tanner McGrew enters fifth year of pro basketball

Buckhannon-Upshur & WV Wesleyan grad
Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 11:16 PM EDT
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PORTO, Portugal (WDTV) - Buckhannon’s Tanner McGrew and his wife, Abbey, have been on quite the ride since they met at a West Virginia Wesleyan Methodist conference in college seven years ago.

The two got married in 2016 and a week later, boarded a flight to Australia, as Tanner embarked on his first season as a professional basketball player. Since then, he’s played in Denmark, France and most recently Portugal, with two stints in the NBA G-League with the Memphis Hustle and the Salt Lake City Stars.

“It’s been a really long process of starting at a lower level and working my way up and now finally getting my foot in the door in the higher leagues and stronger leagues through out Europe and the rest of the world,” McGrew said.

That process, though, started much earlier. After graduating from Buckhannon-Upshur High School in 2011, McGrew attended West Virginia Wesleyan on a trombone scholarship, thinking his basketball days were over. After his freshman year at WVWC, McGrew was offered to be a walk-on for the Bobcats by then head coach Patrick Beilein. He went on to be a first team all-MEC selection during his junior and senior seasons, which laid the foundation for a professional hoops career.

“Just because you’re not having success at a young age and not being looked at, that doesn’t mean that it can’t happen,” Tanner said on advice he would give to young players from West Virginia. “I was not recruited by any schools ever. I never had any offers even to walk-on. Find something that you love and if you’re willing to put the time into it, it will always reward you.”

Tanner will begin his second season with FC Porto in Portugal this fall, but his start may be a little delayed. Last November, McGrew broke his leg in a game just one month into the season. The team has been very supportive throughout his rehab process and told him the day of his leg surgery that they would resign him for another year.

“Right now, my main goal is getting back to 100 percent and being able to continue playing for as long as my body will let me.”

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