Personal Attention

Joe Herber has seen a number of fans supporting him during Mountaineer basketball games. German flags and signs with Herber's name number on them are rather common sights at the Coliseum. However, even Herber was surprised to see a group of friends with a mildly embarrassing play on his name in the front row for WVU's win over Seton Hall.

"I saw them," a sheepish Herber admitted after WVU's 96-86 win over Seton Hall. "I know them, but I didn't expect them to do anything like that."

"That" turned out to be five female acquaintances of Herber's, who happen to be members of the Mountaineer volleyball team, wearing t-shirts featuring Herber's number five. However, instead of his given name of "Johannes", the shirts read "JoHOTnes".

While any player would obviously love to have his own cheering section, Herber, as befits his introverted nature, was a bit embarrassed by his personal cheering section. However, he took it in good stride, and admitted it was a humorous move.

"I thought it was funny," Herber admitted with a laugh as a bit of redness crept into his face. "It's a good feeling though. When you grow up you fantasize aobut something like that - having people cheer for you. When you play in Germany in front of 200 people, then come here and get something like this, it's a good feeling."

Herber's cheering section turned out to be five juniors and seniors from the volleyball squad, led by reluctant spokesperson Alison Zemanski.

"We appreciate Johannes' good looks, so we came up with this nickname for him," Zemanski said after the game. "We are WVU fans too, though."

In addition to Zemanski, members of the Herber Battalion included Kelly Mullins, Brandice Studnicka, Stephanie Zolna and Julie Hockenson. In true Mountaineer fashion, they stayed till the end of the game to root on their fellow athletes, with an eye, of course, toward one player in particular.

Herber definitely appreciated the support, but admitted that he might have to come up with a response at some point in the future.

"I might have to do something for them," he said with a grin that seemed to indicate he was already plotting some revenge. "I'll need to think about that."

Zolna, Studnicka, Zemanski, Mullins, and Hockenson show their appreciation for Herber

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