In a basketball career during which he displayed considerable prowess as both a coach and a player, George “Tic” Price has found another calling.
It wasn’t until now that he has been recognized as an author.
Price, who turns 67 this fall, has come out with a book called “Locker Room Talk.”
“I’ve been collecting data for 20 years,” said Price, a star player at George Washington High School in Danville who played two years at Virginia Commonwealth from 1974-76 before sitting out a year and transferring to Virginia Tech for his final two seasons.
Price, who played on the Hokies’ team that lost to eventual NCAA champion Indiana State and Larry Bird in the 1979 NCAA Tournament, finished his playing career with 1,157 points.
His first assistant’s job was during the period from 1980-84, when he was the top aide to Ed Green at Roanoke College.
Green said it was Price, a Roanoke assistant at the time, who recruited one of the best players in Roanoke’s basketball history, Reggie Thomas, who died in 2020 following an auto accident in Seattle, where he was a sheriff’s deputy.
“During the time period while Tic was here, the players in the program won seven straight [Old Dominion Athletic Association] championships,” Green noted. “Tic offered me opportunities two separate times to get back into [coaching] with him.
“The book is pretty darn good from a coaches’ standpoint or even from a recreational standpoint or even a parental standpoint talking to their children, challenging them to be as good as they can be.”
Price’s first head-coaching job was at New Orleans from 1994-97, followed by stints at Memphis, McNeese State and Lamar.
As recently as 2018-19, his Lamar team had gone 20-13.
Price was an assistant at Lamar under Pat Knight and took over as interim coach when Knight was let go with five games left in the 2013-14 season. A 9-17 season in 2020-21 cost Price his job, although he stayed busy as a broadcast analyst.
“I worked three or four days off and, on my days off, I was writing,” Price said in a phone interview earlier this week. ” Maybe [the book] will help some aspiring coaches and players and maybe some people not even involved in sports.”
His eight years at McNeese State included a stint as an associate vice president of student engagement, but it’s not like he had a background as an author.
“My first English class at Virginia Tech, in a writing class, my professor said, ‘Tic, you didn’t write this paper,’ “Price recalls. “At the time, I was sitting there saying, ‘I did write this paper.’ I told [then-assistant] Frankie Allen and he told coach [Charlie] Moir.’
“They read the paper and they said, ‘Damn, this is pretty damn good. Did you write this paper?’ So my own damn coaches who worked with me on a daily basis gave me an indirect compliment.”
“I’ve always liked writing. I’ve always scribbled out quotes and messages that I’ve wanted to give to my teams. I always spoke to youth groups. I wrote my own speeches. Even when I courted my wives — I’ve been married twice — they thought I was copying lines off Hallmark cards.”
He started his newly published book in October and it came out in April.
He lives in Baton Rouge, La., and his mother and father have passed away, so he doesn’t return to Virginia on a regular basis, although he’ll be in Danville for a book signing from noon to 3 p.m. this Saturday at the Culture Restaurant and Grill in Danville.
If possible, he’ll also stop by the local boys’ club at the urging of former classmates.
“I had a pretty good career,” he said this week. “If I can do it, a lot of people can.”
The life of a basketball analyst isn’t too bad.
“I don’t lose many games and I don’t have too many alumni after my a–,” he said with a chuckle.”I’ve been blessed to be around good people, people who believed in me.”
While in Danville, he will get together with his son, Ryan, who played at William Fleming in Roanoke. Ryan’s mother, Eulah, recently passed away and there will be a memorial service this weekend.
Tic Price remarried and his wife, Jamie, who tutored Shaquille O’Neal at LSU, is a basketball fanatic.
“I couldn’t have it any other way,” he said.