Bryce Miller: University of San Diego offered Bernie Bickerstaff launching point for rich basketball life

SAN DIEGO — On a ribbon of highway knifing through coal mining country in southeastern Kentucky sits blink-and-miss-it Benham. The 418 or so residents living on a median household income of $45,000 grind in the shadow of Black Mountain, the state’s highest point. Bernie Bickerstaff’s father and grandfather toiled in those mines with the charcoal-smeared cheeks and weathered fingernails to prove it. His dad walked away after 30 years of back-straining work in inky darkness. “He got a gold pen and black lung,” Bickerstaff said. What sparked a man’s rise from a small town’s economic and racial ru…

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HEDGE accordingly