Ten years after helping take Florida Gulf Coast University’s men’s basketball team, “Dunk City,” to a shocking victory, starting point guard Brett Comer is inspiring the next generation of players, but he’s facing off against his alma mater.
In 2013, the 15-seeded FGCU Eagles men’s basketball team stunned the nation with an improbable 78-68 victory over number two Georgetown and sparked the Dunk City craze. FGCU followed it up with another masterpiece, defeating number seven San Diego State 81-71, becoming the first and only 15 seed to advance to the sweet 16.
Comer had a knack for setting up his teammates for success, making him the perfect point guard for Dunk City. A decade later, Comer’s doing the same thing from the bench.
“I still like for us to play fast,” Comer said. “You know, I still talk a decent amount; I still communicate with our guys. It’s kind of the same how I was as a point guard.”
Comer is in his first year as an assistant coach at Stetson.
“It’s something I always knew I wanted to do once the ball stopped bouncing for me,” Comer said.
When Comer was playing for FGCU, he not only studied his playbook, he also studied the coaches, starting with his head coach Andy Enfield. Now, he’s taking those lessons and putting them into practice.
“He let me play free,” Comer said of Enfield. “That gave us all a ton of confidence and let us play. It’s not one mistake, and you’re subbed out of the game. It’s always trying to, you know… bad possession, bad play, coach your guys up and make them believe they can do something special. Make them believe that they’ll be fine on the next play.”
Those memories came rushing back on Wednesday as Comer prepared to coach his first game against the team he helped put on the map.
“It’s going to be a little weird looking down there and seeing blue and green,” Comer said. “This game is not about me. I can’t play one minute, can’t score one point, can’t make one assist. So, I’m trying to help our guys play through this game.”
But his current team made the plays down the stretch, with Coach Comer cheering them on to pick up a win against the Eagles. On Saturday is a rematch, as Comer returns to Alico Arena for the first time
“I’m sure our fans will welcome him because he’s such a big part of our history and where we are today,” said Adam Vaniska, FGCU graduate.
“I’m really excited for him,” said Bryan lewis, another FGCU graduate. “It seems like he’s had a super successful career going into coaching.”
“The people from that place is what will always make it special for me,” Comer said. “You know, every place can be special, but it’s the people that make it special.”