The Indomitable Charles Barkley Tells His Auburn Boys, “Seize the Opportunity” Because You May Not Be Here for Another 40 Years

Charles Barkley, in a pregame talk with the Auburn basketball team before the fifth-seeded Tigers played top-seeded Virginia at the Final Four Saturday, encouraged the players to seize the moment.

“What I want to tell you guys today, I’ve had an amazing life as a basketball player,’’ Barkley said during CBS pregame coverage. “My number’s retired at Auburn. My number’s retired in Philadelphia. But you know what? I never won a championship. I got to live with that forever. You guys got a chance to do that.’’

Barkley, who played at Auburn from 1981 to 1984, met with the Tigers in their locker room at U.S. Bank Stadium, where the national semifinal games will be played Saturday night. Auburn is making its first appearance in the Final Four.

“Seize this opportunity,’’ Barkley said. “You ain’t got to do anything different. You all have played great to get here. Don’t take this thing for granted.

“So I just want to thank you all for the greatest ride in Auburn basketball history. That’s all I wanted to tell you. Seize this opportunity, because it don’t come along that often.’’

SOURCE: USA Today, by Josh Peter