Virginia Vine

Jay Bilas

Jay Bilas, known for his extensive knowledge of men’s basketball and insightful analysis about the sports industry, joined ESPN in 1995. Bilas, who is featured on ESPN’s game and studio coverage, calls the top men’s college basketball games involving the nation’s marquee teams and conferences every week throughout the season. He joined ESPN’s Saturday Primetime telecasts in 2015, adding to his role on the popular Saturday morning, College GameDay Covered by State Farm. He has been an analyst on the show since its debut in 2005. Bilas is also present at the Men’s Final Four through studio coverage, as well as game telecasts on ESPN International. He has also been an integral part of ESPN’s coverage of the NBA Draft since 2003, providing in-depth player scouting and analysis. He is a regular contributor on several ESPN shows and platforms, including SportsCenter, Get Up and ESPN Radio.

A prep All-American from Los Angeles, California, the 6-7 Bilas was a four-year starter at Duke under Mike Krzyzewski from 1982-1986. As an undersized center, Bilas scored 1,062 points, grabbed 692 rebounds, and helped lead Duke to the the No. 1 ranking, the 1986 ACC Championship and the 1986 NCAA Championship Game. Bilas’ 1986 Duke team set the NCAA record for the most wins in a single season with 37.

Drafted by the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Bilas played professional basketball overseas, ranking among the leagues’ top scorers in Italy during the 1987 and 1988 seasons, and then in Spain for part of the 1989 season before returning to Duke in 1990 to serve as an assistant coach on Krzyzewski’s staff, while also earning his law degree from Duke Law School. While Bilas was an assistant coach under Krzyzewski, the Blue Devils advanced to the NCAA Championship Game three times, winning back to back National Championships in 1991 and 1992.

Since 1992, Bilas has been an attorney with the law firm of Moore & Van Allen, PLLC, where he has specialized in commercial litigation. Bilas serves on the Board of Advisors of the John R. Wooden Award, the Board of Advisors of the Chip Hilton Award, the National Board of the Coaches vs. Cancer Organization, and the Board of Advisors of the Duke Brain Tumor Center. A native of San Pedro, California, Bilas now resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his professional artist wife, Wendy.

Paul Overstreet

After graduating from high-school at the age of eighteen, Paul Overstreet moved from the bayous of Mississippi to the music capital of the world, Nashville, Tennessee. Not owning a suitcase, he brought with him a laundry basket of Levi’s and football jerseys, ten original songs and a guitar. He packed them in a ’68 Ford Fairlane with lots of dreams of how great it was all going to be when he finally got to the “Big City.”

As a songwriter, Overstreet has written and co-written 27 top ten songs, his first being George Jones’ Same Ole Me.  Numerous other artist have recorded his songs including Randy Travis, Tanya Tucker, Keith Whitley, Alison Kraus, The Judds, Kenny Chesney, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and many more!  With the hit songs came a series of high-profile awards and honors, including ACM and CMA Song of the Year, Grammy awards, and being named the BMI Country Songwriter of the Year a record five consecutive years from 1987-1991.  In 2003, Paul received induction into the NSAI Songwriters Hall of Fame

Ralph Sampson

Ralph Sampson started at center for the University of Virginia, where he led the Cavaliers to an NIT Championship, an NCAA Final Four appearance, and an Elite Eight appearance. He received three Naismith Awards and two Wooden awards as National Player of the Year between 1981 and 1983.

Sampson began his professional career as the first overall pick in the 1983 NBA Draft, going on to become an NBA Rookie of the Year, a four-time NBA All Star, and an All Star Game MVP in 1985.

Since retiring from the NBA as a player, Sampson has held assistant coaching positions at James Madison University and in the NBA at the Phoenix Suns. He has been inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Joe Theismann

Joe Theismann is an entrepreneur and former star Washington quarterback. As a 12-year NFL veteran, Theismann played in 163 consecutive games from 1974 to 1985 and holds the team record for passing yards, completions and attempts. He was a two-time Pro Bowl selection and led Washington to a 27-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII. He spent decades working for ESPN on their NFL broadcasts. Today, he oversees a popular Washington, D.C. restaurant that bears his name. This will be Joe’s fifth year as Host of Virginia Vine.

Neil Thrasher

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama Neil Thrasher has been surrounded by music his whole life. Influenced by both sides of his family, Neil grew up watching his father perform professionally as part of The Thrasher Brothers. so it was only natural that Neil would do the same.

After several years of recording his own music and touring, other artist began recording songs he had written and as fate would have it, it was then that Neil would devote his career to being a full-time songwriter, eventually being named “2004 ASCAP Songwriter Of The Year”.

Thrasher’s songs have been recorded by some of music’s most successful acts, including Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Randy Houser, Ronnie Dunn, Tyler Farr, Reba McEntire,  and many others.

Dereck Whittenburg

Dereck Whittenburg was a starting guard on Jim Valvano’s 1983 NCAA Basketball Championship team at NCSU. After a successful career at NCSU, the Phoenix Suns drafted him in the 1983 NBA Draft. He later established a coaching career of his own. Whittenburg spent seven seasons as head coach at Fordham University and has held coaching positions at Wagner College, NCSU, George Mason University, Long Beach State, University of Colorado, West Virginia University and Georgia Tech.

Whittenburg joined NC State University (NCSU) as the Director of Player Development in 2013. He was promoted in October 2015 to Associate Athletic Director for Community Relations and Student Support, a new position within NC State’s athletics department. He joined ESPN, Inc. in 2010. His work includes the program Buzzer Beater and select games appearing on ESPNU. Whittenburg can also be heard on ESPN Radio.