Phoenix, AZ (WLTX) - Coach Frank Martin was overcome by emotion following Saturday night's loss to Gonzaga, when talking about his players and the fans who've supported their historic run.
Martin was asked what he'd say to fans who've been watching the Gamecocks, who may want to one day joins his team, and how to handle a loss like this.
Martin paused for a good 15 seconds, put his head on his hand, and had to gather himself as he responded. Even when he did, he voice broke up, and there were tears in his eyes.
"There's something powerful when you impact others and what these kids have done. It's pretty special.
"When you get people to travel across the country, by the masses, because they believe in what you do, it's powerful stuff. And they've impacted our community in an unbelievable way, which is worth so much more than the score of a game. It's what it's all about.
"These kids are great role models. There's a lot of young kids that want to be the next Sindarius Thornwell. Justin McKie. I don't get to coach them anymore, but they're part of my life forever."
Martin, who completed his fifth season at the school, led the team to its first NCAA win in 44 years, and its first-ever Final Four appearance. They also set a program record for wins with 26.