He thought he was saying goodbye when the season ended in March. Fast forward, three months later and Zach Farquhar is back with Liberty men's basketball and it came as a surprise.
"We are thrilled to have Zach back on the team as a player because he makes our program better in so many aspects," head coach Ritchie McKay said. "In the three years Zach has been a part of our program, he has never had a bad day and has never complained. That is the type of person we want in our program and we are blessed that he gets one more year with our family."
As the returning Liberty basketball players reported to campus to start summer school this week, workouts also began. As McKay brought the team together at center court before beginning workouts, Liberty University's Chief of Police, Colonel Richard Hinkley, made a surprise visit to the Vines Center. Bringing an envelope, McKay and Hinkley asked Farquhar to come join them, thinking his car had been towed. From thinking he was in the wrong, Farquhar was given the gift of a full ride scholarship and one more year to play the game he loves.
From thinking your car got towed to being on a full ride scholarship! You deserve it @zachfarquhar15! #GoFlames pic.twitter.com/QWXL5ptagA— Liberty Basketball (@LibertyMBB) June 14, 2018
From thinking your car got towed to being on a full ride scholarship! You deserve it @zachfarquhar15! #GoFlames pic.twitter.com/QWXL5ptagA
"I am extremely blessed and thankful for this opportunity. I cannot ask for a better group of guys," Farquhar said. "I was a little nervous when Chief Hinkley first walked in but after he handed me the envelope it was such a surreal feeling."
Throughout the 2017-18 season, Farquhar and Liberty basketball were under the impression that it would be his final year of eligibility after transferring from Miami (OH). After working with Liberty's compliance office, McKay realized with one year of eligibility left, there was only one person who perfectly fit to fill the last scholarship spot and that player was already here in Lynchburg.
With aspirations of becoming a strength and conditioning coach after college, Farquhar had been assisting and learning from basketball's director of performance, Henry Barrera, this summer. Throughout the spring, Farquhar was watching the returners put in the work and continuing to help them in any way possible.
McKay recognized the investment that Farquhar was making and as time progressed, it was clear to both sides he was not ready to leave Liberty basketball. It was evident in Farquhar's mind on why he wanted to continue this journey.
"The people," Farquhar said. "Liberty is a different place, the atmosphere is fantastic and when you leave Liberty after your four years, you leave as a better person. The program is made up of great players and coaches and the athletic program as a whole is different than anywhere else."
Now it is time to get back to work. Farquhar has been vital not only on the court, helping the players get prepared for games, leading the scout team and making his fellow teammates better, but also off the court that your average fan may not see. On a day-to-day basis, Farquhar has been one of the leaders for the program, always taking guys aside to talk and provide words of encouragement. Not only does he a bring a smile to whoever is around him on the bench, but he knows how to make a crowd cheer at the Vines as Farquhar has posted a 75 percent three-point field goal percentage and a 78.6 percent overall field goal percentage throughout his career at Liberty.
"When I look back, I couldn't have imagined that I would be in the position I am now," Farquhar added. "I am thankful for the doors God has opened in my life and the people that have continued to invest in me. I am very blessed."
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