For the Elmore crew, TBT all about reuniting with Marshall family


By: Savannah Deuer

Three members of the Elmore family are on the Herd That roster

The 2018 Marshall Thundering Herd weren’t supposed to have a successful season. In fact, they were predicted to finish at the bottom of the Conference USA standings in almost every poll.

Instead, the team went 25-11 and was one of the best mid-major teams all season long. 

The Thundering Herd didn’t stop there. They made a run to the Conference USA Championship Game, ultimately beating Western Kentucky and punching a ticket to March Madness. 

As a 13-seed in the tourney, they upset fourth-seeded Wichita State in the first round. It was the first NCAA Tournament win in program history. Although they lost the Round of 32 game to in-state rival West Virginia, the Herd raised the bar for Marshall basketball forever. 


The season had a profund impact on Marshall legends Jon and Ot Elmore. With Ot scheduled to graduate, it was likely the last time the brothers would be able to play organized basketball together. Or so they thought.

That summer, Ot became the General Manager of the West Virginia Wildcats, a team of friends from the greater Charleston area. While Jon had to watch from the sidelines in 2018, he joined the team the next summer. The two were reunited on the court just over a year after they last played together. This summer they're taking it a step further, playing as a full Marshall alumni team under the name Herd That

The brothers are joined by their father, Gay Elmore, who has served as head coach of the team every summer. That name should sound familiar. The eldest Elmore played his college basketball at Virginia Military Insititute, setting a program record with 2,423 points over 113 games. Combined with Jon, who is the leading scorer in Conference-USA history, the duo are the highest scoring father-son duo ever.


While they hope this connection will lead them to success this summer, Jon and Ot are most excited about bonding as a team during TBT's mandatory quarantine period.

“We would do this process of quarantine 100 times if it meant we could play in the tournament," said Ot. “I’m really looking forward to hanging out with the guys and playing Xbox like we did in our college days.”

“Everyone loves to be involved in the tournament, from assistant coaches to equipment managers. We’re even expecting some tips from Coach Dan D’Antoni, he’s a big supporter of our team.”

From a competitive standpoint, this Marshall team is talented and poised to make a run this summer. The Elmore brothers are joined by C.J. Burks, another Herd legend. He ranks fifth in Marshall history in points scored in a single season.

Other Herd alumni include Rondale Watson, Stevie Browning, and Marcus Reed.


“As a former player, I couldn’t ask for more than to be involved in something like TBT,” said coach Gay Elmore. “But to get to coach my sons on top of it, well, that’s a no-brainer.”

“Jon is one of the best guards I’ve ever seen play, and that’s not just because he’s my son. If there’s a better guard than Jon in this tournament, that’s going to be a great matchup.”

With the level of competition so high in this year’s tournament, the Elmore brothers are hoping this family dynamic can catapult them to a title. 

“It’s awesome that everyone is in the same place,” said Ot Elmore. “The competition is going to be tough, but we’re a big Marshall family, and we think we’ve got what it takes.”