Duke

Duke fan grandmother got to the Va. Tech game, thanks to grandchild’s well-timed tweet

Raleigh resident Cameron Smith, right, is taking her grandmother, Fran McMillan, to the Virginia Tech-Duke game on Wednesday at Cameron Indoor Stadium thanks to Hokies coach Buzz Williams.
Raleigh resident Cameron Smith, right, is taking her grandmother, Fran McMillan, to the Virginia Tech-Duke game on Wednesday at Cameron Indoor Stadium thanks to Hokies coach Buzz Williams. Courtesy of Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith was enjoying a recent basketball victory by Virginia Tech, her alma mater, when she got a surprising text from her 84-year-old grandmother, who is a Duke fan.

On Jan. 31 Smith, who lives in Raleigh, watched the Hokies defeat Boston College 85-80. Afterward, she picked up her phone and read the text.

“Your coach plays hard like the team, I like him,” Fran McMillan texted Smith.

Smith, a campus recruiter for Ernst and Young and a 2010 Virginia Tech graduate, tweeted out her grandmother’s text, and tagged Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams in it.

“I didn’t think I’d hear back,” Smith said of Williams. “But he responded.”

“Can you bring Granmom to our game vs Duke? I will get you guys seats on the floor, so she can (see) her favorite team,” Williams tweeted.

Smith responded, and then Williams tweeted he would leave two tickets at the will-call window at Cameron Indoor Stadium for them.

“Will let them know, we (love) Granmom,” Williams tweeted.

Williams is active on Twitter, often tweeting inspirational messages to his followers.

A Virginia Tech spokesman confirmed that Williams left tickets for Smith and McMillan for the Duke-Virginia Tech game Wednesday.

“It’s something nice he’s doing,” said Bill Dyer, Virginia Tech’s associate director of strategic communications.

The Blue Devils (21-5, 9-4 ACC) defeated the Hokies (18-8, 7-6) 74-52.

When Smith told her grandmother about what happened, she said: “I’m speechless. This is so exciting!”

So, whose colors did McMillan wear to the game?

“Granmom will wear her Duke blue, and I’ll be in maroon and orange,” Smith said. “She texted me (on Tuesday) that she’s excited and she hopes she gets the chance to thank Buzz. I don’t think she’s worried about sitting near Hokie parents and families at all!”

Smith tweeted a photo of her grandmother and her on the Cameron Indoor Stadium court prior to Wednesday’s game.

“Thanks again @TeamCoachBuzz for the incredible experience of attending tonight's game with my Granmom! She's still a fan of yours, even if she wears Duke blue. Proud of @HokiesMBB!” Smith said in her tweet.

McMillan, whose husband went to Duke and its divinity school, has been a Duke fan for a long time. Smith said her grandmother had been to Cameron Indoor Stadium “one or two times. We went to a December game.”

Sam Newkirk: 919-829-4526, @samnewkirk64

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