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Edgerson Having Hair-Raising Time at Final Four
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: April 01, 2001
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The magnificent Afro that sprouts from Eugene Edgerson's head took about three years to grow but has roots from 30 or 40 years ago.

The Arizona forward is a fan of basketball played before he was born, 23 years ago in New Orleans. His mother was a fan of Magic Johnson, so he became one, too, and from there he became a historian of the game.

He grew out his hair, along with sideburns and a goatee, and pulled up his socks in honor of those who played in Johnson's era.

"It's a respect thing," Edgerson said. "I've been growing my hair about three years, basically as a tribute to all the guys who played in the '60s, '70s and '80s. I have fun with it. You all have fun with it, too."

Edgerson, who sat out last season to student-teach kindergarten students, is the only remaining participant from when the Wildcats won the title in 1997.

He said he has tried to allow his teammates to experience the Final Four for themselves - as the seniors did for him as a freshman - though he pulled out the now-famous "coffee bean" speech before the Michigan State game. In short, he urged his teammates to act like coffee beans - which get stronger in boiling water - rather than a carrot or an egg, which get softer.

Michael Wright, held without a point or rebound in the first half of Saturday's semifinal victory over Michigan State, took the message to heart: "I was like, yeah, I have to come out and be a coffee bean in the second half."

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