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Why Virginia coach Tony Bennett prays for Kyle Guy

Posted at 2:24 PM, Apr 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-07 18:49:51-04

MINNEAPOLIS -- When Virginia guard Kyle Guy stepped to the line with less than a second left in Saturday's Final Four game against Auburn, UVA's historic season was also on the line.

Down two points, Guy swished all three free throws to give Virginia a 63-62 win sending the Cavaliers to their first NCAA men's basketball title game.

While many Virginia fans likely uttered a quick prayer before Guy's free throw attempts, Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett said he started praying for Guy well before Saturday night's game.

"The best thing I could do for Kyle is I pray for him a lot," Bennett said when asked how he helps his star shooter who lives with anxiety. "We have a saying, be kind because everyone you meet is facing a hard battle. Some things you have to work through yourself and the right kind of help, and he's very honest about it. I try to encourage him and challenge him in ways and be there for him, coach him hard."

Guy opened up about his battles with anxiety in a SB Nation article published earlier this year.

"I tend to feel responsible for everything, in basketball and in life,” Guy said. “There’s always someone saying something on Twitter, or an interview — I never get a chance to breathe."

Guy has since worked hard to improve his mental health.

"I wish that there was this one big moment for me, but there wasn’t,” Guy said in the January 2019 interviews. “It took a lot of hard work, and the people around me helping me through it. The more I stayed in a routine and made mistakes with it, the more I learned about how I was going to cope with it. And it gradually got better. I haven’t had a panic attack in a very long time. I’m thankful, and I’m happy that I figured it out.”