Native Eyewear visited mountain towns across the country, including outdoor meccas like Boulder and Bend, but it was the North Carolina hamlet of Brevard that won last year’s Locals Only Project. Each year, Native Eyewear selects the very best outdoor towns to highlight in their catalogs and to feature in special town-focused videos.Native Eyewear spent a month in Brevard this summer where the brand worked with local folks to gather photos, interview the locals and to take breathtaking videos of the Great Smoky Mountains. The footage was then captured in the 2014 Native catalog, on the Native website, and in an exclusive paperback publication created to celebrate Brevard’s outdoor culture and lifestyle.Celebrate with Brevard and Native Eyewear on Saturday, February 8, from 6 – 10 p.m. at the Lumber Yard at 200 King Street in downtown. Native will show the video and debut and distribute the paperback at the party. Beverage and appetizers will be provided with tunes of the local band Spencer and the String Ticklers serving as the backdrop.
Even Mets fans, still in MLB jerseys, who decided to make it a day-night doubleheader after their MLB team’s afternoon opener didn’t do much to bump the attendance.In fairness to the teams, those who didn’t see the game missed Dylan Osetkowski’s double-double for Texas (19 points and 11 rebounds) and the Longhorns’ defensive stop on Lipscomb star Garrison Mathews. The honorable mention AP All-American was held to 2-of-10 shooting and 15 points for the Bisons, who missed by one win reaching the 30-victory plateau. Lipscomb wraps up its season at 29-8.”They took Garrison for the large part out of the game,” Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander said. “The only thing to be sad about is that it’s over.” “It’s great to win a championship,” Smart told reporters afterward.It’s just that this isn’t exactly the kind of tournament championship Longhorns fans envisioned when Smart was hired four years ago.Texas reeled off five consecutive victories to claim the title, but now the Longhorns will be home by Saturday to watch a Final Four that includes Big 12 rival Texas Tech. That stings.Here are three takeaways from a complicated championship for Texas:1. This won’t take the pressure off Smart.He’s now 71-66 in his four seasons at Texas, but it took the five straight NIT wins — over South Dakota State, Xavier, Colorado, TCU and Lipscomb — to get him to five games over .500.The smattering of burnt-orange-wearing fans enjoyed the win at Madison Square Garden, but there’s a portion of the fan base that isn’t exactly unhappy that Smart reportedly is on the short list of candidates to fill the UCLA vacancy (as TCU’s Jamie Dixon haggles over his buyout up the road in Fort Worth).Despite the NIT title, Texas still hasn’t won an NCAA Tournament game under Smart.”There has been teams that have come and won the NIT and they have been able to use that as an unbelievable spring board into a more successful season next year and an NCAA Tournament tournament run,” Smart said hopefully but then adding a dose of reality. “There’s been teams that haven’t.2. It was an emotional ending for Kerwin Roach IIThe Longhorns leading scorer, Roach averaged 15 points per game as a senior but was suspended for the final five games of the regular season (during which Texas went 1-4).The mercurial Roach has been suspended three times in his career at Texas, likely causing enough questions among NBA teams that even his obvious athleticism has been overshadowed.Smart shared an emotional moment with Roach on the court after the victory in which he scored 16 points and sealed being named the NIT’s most outstanding player.”He’s had some phenomenal moments,” Smart said (via The Associated Press). “I don’t think he thought he’d be in college this long.”3. The NIT championship wasn’t a draw this year.Texas won in front of about 3,000 spectators — not one sitting above the lower bowl, per The AP’s assessment.So last year’s title game, packed with Penn State fans? Probably attributable to the Big Ten school’s sizeable New York fan base.This year?There were those few hundred fans in burnt orange and that was about it. Everything’s bigger in Texas, but get to Madison Square Garden in New York and an NIT championship victory isn’t quite as huge.Sure, Thursday night’s 81-66 victory over Lipscomb was a decent way to finish a season for Shaka Smart’s University of Texas team. A win is a win, right?