LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - After just missing out on the NCAA tournament, it was a struggle for University of Louisville players who have been through so much this season, to decide to play in the NIT.
But they did, and Tuesday night they host Northern Kentucky University at the KFC Yum! Center where the Cards will take on a former teammate.
Tyler Sharpe is a former UofL walk-on and Bullitt East star, who now plays for Northern Kentucky. While his family says it will be a little hard taking on his former team, he'll be ready for the Cards and he will have plenty of support at the KFC Yum! Center.
"The community," said Tyler's Dad Craig Sharpe," I've gotten lots of calls from the Mount Washington community."
It's a given, at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night, Bullitt East will be in the house for the NIT match-up between UofL and NKU.
"It's neat for our community, it's neat for the school," Troy Barr, Bullitt East Athletic Director, said.
"Teachers are telling me yeah, we're going we're going to be there supporting him," Craig Sharpe said.
Sharpe, a former Charger, will face off against plenty of familiar faces.
"He's still friends with all the players that were there last year," Craig Sharp said.
Sharp said his son is especially tight with Ryan McMahon and Ray Spalding and, that makes dad a little nervous.
"I worry about the pressure playing your old teammates," Craig Sharpe said. But said his son isn't worried, just pumped for the game.
Tyler left the Cards to get more playing time at NKU.
"He worked his way into the rotation and when he got his chance, he took advantage of it and started making three's which is what he did here," Barr said.
The 6'1 guard made 86 three pointers his senior year for Chargers. Now, the two teams have more in common than just Sharpe. Both had disappointing ends to their seasons. The Cards just missed out on the big dance, so did The Norse. After winning the Horizon League regular season championship, they lost the first round of their conference tourney, which shut NKU out of the NCAA tournament.
Craig, a lifelong UofL fan, says it will be rough cheering against the Cards. But, family comes first and he's thrilled for his son.
"He told me on the phone last night he is very excited for this opportunity," Craig said. "And he's looking forward to it."