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How did you get to be a GU fan/student?

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  • #16

    I got in before they were too selective. My freshman year was 98-99, the Elite Eight run... I guess that's how I became a fan.
    If I could have, I would have stayed forever. As it happens, they forced me to graduate/leave. That's when the phone calls started... asking me for money I won't have for ten or fifteen years.
    I wear a helmet while internetting.


    • #17
      Oh, right. I forgot about the part where my mom was working on campus, too. That was a factor, for sure.


      • #18
        This is from my first post on GU Boards:

        My mom got free tickets on a regular basis from her aerobics friend Darlene Fitzgerald... the atmosphere in Kennedy Pavillion and C. Martin Centre was no less electric back then if you ask me, but I was only 5 years old so of course it was. I loved the jazz band. I really hated Pepperdine. Personal favs were the McPhees, Jeff Condill, John Rillie, and Jaime Dudley who also coached my h.s. jv team.

        My dad ('76) was a member of the "Snake Pit." Pre-Kennel Club, I believe. He was a rabid fan, even in front of his young 'uns he was absolutely inapproprate to the refs and opposing players. He sent me to Gonzaga Prep. Went to numerous camps at GU for basketball and baseball. He was a personal friend of Steve Hertz and asked him to scout me. He argued on my behalf to the financial aid office because GU offered less than the other schools. Since I'm a chip of the ol' block, I thought it would absolutely make sense to light his fire and go to Santa Clara and make an enemy of him... that's why I'm sonuvazag. Well...

        I tried out for the basketball team and the baseball team. I made the fall team in baseball but I developed an Ankiel sort of tick throwing the ball. As if deep in my psyche, I could never truly work on behalf of the Broncos. Being at Toso as an SCU student at the 1999 WCC Championship was a little embarrassing. Since those days, I've moved back to Spokane, it just feels more natural to root for the Zags. Everyone at Santa Clara was rooting for Gonzaga in the 1999 NCAA tourney anyway.

        It's all about the fans. At SCU the students show up when ESPN is in the house. At GU, well... it's different. I wish I could say there's more to my story than basketball, but I'm afraid there's not. Even my filmmaking aspirations have led me back here. One of my goals is to make an indie film with Gonzaga in it if they let me. I've noticed a lot of people on these boards think there are some made for Hollywood storylines going on here.
        Agent provocateur


        • #19
          I came from an Air Force family that moved every 3 or 4 years. My grandparents always had lived in western Washington, so it was home base for vacations and holidays. I always considered myself "from Washington" although I had never lived there. When I graduated from high school my family moved overseas and wanted me to go to college as close to family as possible in a good, stable environment. The family school has been WSU for three generations, and I was at first headed there. As a senior in high school I won both Army and Air Force ROTC scholarships. Back in the day, that was a full, no-cap ride to any school with those programs. Funny how the possibility of a free Jesuit education made WSU fall a few notches. I visted GU (Army ROTC) and University of Portland (Air Force ROTC). I liked both campuses, but in the end it came down to two things: less rain/better skiing in Spokane, and I didn't want to follow my dad into the Air Force (obstinant teenager that I was).

          Thankfully fate was good to me and the decision couldn't have been better.


          • #20
            A longtime basketball player/coach/fan, I arrived as a law student in the early 1980s in time to watch the Stockton-Condill guard combo, soon to be followed by Fitz's return to the bench. What fun to watch; never a dull moment! The Zags have been my team ever since.


            • #21
              Well I was the youngest and I knew my parents would send me where ever I wanted to go- I grew up in the university district of the U of O- my parents friends were the coaches and we had them over for dinner all of the time and both the basketall court and football stadium were five minute walk from out house but I knew I would not go there- just too close and familar-

              My parents wanted me to go to Georgetown or Santa Clara- I thought about USF and Seattle U- but a very good friend of the family went to GU and she was in the very first Gonzaga in Florence class and my brother was living in Europe ( and he still is) so I was interested and that was the reason and only reason I went to GU- was in the third GIF class- best decision I ever made- Kennedy opened up my first year and did not miss any BB games( growing up in a college town always went to the college games as parents had season tickets to everything)- I tell my wife that the four years at GU were the best of my life- still have so many good friends from GU and got to attend the WCC in Portland and just so much fun seeing so many people again. Reminded me of how special GU is and the people that do there-


              • #22
                I came to Gonzaga as a freshman the year after the Zags made their run into the elite eight. I grew up in Spokane and had attended numerous Zag games with my family, mostly remembering the days of Dan Fitzgerald. His Hoops camps and tournaments always were a highlight for my teammates and friends. GU wasn't always first on my list of colleges as my Dad was a Cougar fan through and through, so each weekend the cougs had a home football game, I traveled to the Palouse to fairly often watch the cougs somehow 'coug it', but I loved the atmosphere and truly thought I'd be a cougar someday. My mom, who attended UW (yes this creates many a controversy in our household over sporting events...namely the Apple Cup) was all for me being a husky, but somehow I didn't end up a husky either. I played soccer in HS and knew I wanted to play in that's basically where it all began. Numerous visits with coaches and to college campuses (all in the Pac NW) led me to make a decision between Gonzaga and WSU. My recruiting trip to GU somehow happened to be the night that the Zags beat Florida in the Sweet Sixteen...Wow, an experience I'll never students everywhere screaming, running, climbing trees utter chaos at it's best! In the end I felt that Gonzaga was the best choice for me and ever since I've been a die hard Zag! Ask anyone...I currently live on the East Coast and no one knows how to pronounce Gonzaga correctly...until they meet me. It's been a great ride, I miss Gonzaga and will forever be a fan!
                "gotta love gonzaga"


                • #23
                  How I became a Zag fan!

                  I'll give you guys the Reader's Digest version. I became a Zag fan in the late 80's when I started following John Stockton's career. I read up on Stockton and followed his career closely finding out that he attended Gonzaga University. It's because of this that I took interest in the program. At first it was just something fun to do and tell my friends that I was a Zag fan and blah, blah, blah, but after a while I became a true fan and the Elite 8 run was the highlight of my basketball fan life. It seems since then people have embraced Gonzaga basketball and I love how the program has grown. I went for years and rarely ever saw them play on television until the past 5 or 6 years where I see them on a weekly basis. (ESPN2 or FoxSportsPacific) This past year I shared my passion with my brother, who plays high school basketball, and I took him to the Gonzaga basketball camp in July. We had a blast and it was the first time I had visited Spokane. As a middle school coach the camp actually taught me some different drills I can run with my kids and it left my brother with an idea of what he needed to work on to be a successful college player. I loved the campus and I thought Spokane was a unique city with very friendly people. To top it off..... I attended my first Zag basketball game this past December in Atlanta and then my wife and I went to New York for Christmas and we attended the game against Duke. Both losses but we had a blast. I am forever a Zag fan even from this far off state in the southeast where football is king!

                  P.S. I still love John Stockton!


                  • #24
                    Went to GU High School team camp during the Fitz years. Fitz came in told us how no matter how good we thought we were we weren't ****. He added a few other things, but I don't want to overuse the asterisk button. I was sold.

                    Second seller, during the Jared Davis, Jeff Brown, Geoff Goss, Matt Sanford days, the Kennel Club (a fledgling organization at the time) had a group of 5 guys (who clearly were sober at each contest) would spell out Zags during one of the timeouts during the game. Best entertainment I can remember at the games those days.


                    • #25
                      I met a coach named Bill Grier at the Addidas All American Camp in 2003, just mins before i overheard Darius Washington Sr tell Tony Barbee I cant wait to fully enjoy M$mphis....


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by azzagfan View Post
                        Went to GU High School team camp during the Fitz years. Fitz came in told us how no matter how good we thought we were we weren't ****. He added a few other things, but I don't want to overuse the asterisk button. I was sold.

                        Second seller, during the Jared Davis, Jeff Brown, Geoff Goss, Matt Sanford days, the Kennel Club (a fledgling organization at the time) had a group of 5 guys (who clearly were sober at each contest) would spell out Zags during one of the timeouts during the game. Best entertainment I can remember at the games those days.
                        Was one of them an exclamation point? Or did they have one they used as relief off the bench who could play any letter?
                        Gonzaga - The Greatest Student Section in the Nation!


                        • #27
                          How did you get to be a GU fan/student?

                          I grew up like many here in a devout Catholic family in Yakima, WA. I always thought for some reason that I'd go to Seattle U because that's where most of the students at Marquette High School went. Marquette was an all boys high school with an enrollment of about 160 students. St. Joseph Academy, the all girls school was across the street from us. Those were the "good ol days, when the boys would venture over to the Academy to visit our girl friends during lunch. We couldn't go onto their campus so had to hold hands through the was really a trip, and as I look back really, really funny.

                          Anyway, I always knew that if I was going to go to Seattle U that I'd have to some how get a scholarship, so I worked hard all my life to try to get one. I had a number of offers to Universities around the PNW and was just unsure of what to do. I was Catholic through and through so I knew it'd have to be a Catholic University. My first visit to a University campus was to Gonzaga, and it blew me away. Coming from a small town like Yakima, and going to a small all boys high school, and almost never getting outside of Yakima because of my socio-economical background, made me a very nieve person with very narrow perception. I could never have even imagined going to school outside of the state of Washington. Spokane seemed a million miles away to me.

                          We didn't even have a gym at Marquette. We had to rent the gym in the Yakima armory. And believe was a dump. So when I first saw Kennedy Pavilion I was like completely sold. I thought Kennedy was the most beautiful gym I had ever seen, and it had a swimming pool attached, and that really impressed me. I was simply awestruck. I believe the facility was brand new and it looked like it to me. I was really impressed. I look back at those days, and I really laugh because I thought the Gonzaga Campus was huge. And I thought going to school with 2,500 students was about all I could take. I was totally impressed by the fact that Bing Crosby had been a student there (even it was only for a year).

                          After meeting one of the coaches, Bud Presely, I got so fired up I was ready to run down stairs and suit up on the spot and play...Presely was definately the most passionate guy about basketball and especially defense that I had ever met. I was immediately sold on GU. Rich Juarez was an assistant coach from Wapato Washington (just outside of Yakima) so I thought that was really kool.

                          I haven't seen much talk about it here on GU Boards, but my Freshman year (1966/67) GU had one of the better Zag teams in the history of the school. The Zags finished 20th nationally and unfortunately back in those days only 16 teams went to the national tournament. The All American player was a guy named Gary Lechman who played center at about 6'6", and was unstoppable. Other players I remember were Frank Thomas and Larry Brown at the forwards, and Paz Rocha was the guard. I think John Daughterty (his son played for Santa Clara this year) and Mike McGinley shared the other guard spot. Believe me. The kennel rocked in those days. The gym was filled to the rafters every home game. The thing I will never forget about those games were the wooden blocks. The whole student body would bring wooden blocks to clap with, and did they EVER make a lot of noise. It was just too darn kool for this small town kid from Yakima. I was always just so in awe about Gonzaga and all those people at the games, and HOW GOOD THE ZAGS Were. I just couldn't believe how Kool it was to be at a college game. And it was everything I had ever dreamt it would be when I was a young boy growing up.

                          These were different years in our GU history too. Madonna Hall became co-ed. The girls were burning their bra's, and the guys burning their draft cards. Masses moved from the church into the homes of college professors. The nuns were taking their habits off (oh my God), and both nuns and priests were leaving their religious orders in masses in order to marry. Church goers could now hold the host and drink the wine. Guitars began showing up in Church masses. Basketball stars became poets of protest and anger and quit the team in order to protest against an evil and corrupt part of our great country. It was indeed a different time at GU. And for all of us who shared these special GU memories together, we are forever bound by a very very special time in history.

                          1999 was such a special year for all of GU. We became a national hit, and I was taken away with it all like so many of you. The players seemed to have that same sense of wonder and innocense that I think I once had. I loved watching Santangelo and Frahm on ESPN. They were like two nuts...just so nieve about it all, and I think that's what the country loved. And still does. There is a place in us all for that kind of innocense and romance. I also loved all the live news shots of the campus, and seeing all those nutty GU students hanging upside down in the trees and just going bazerk. Soccer14js gives a great description of it. Those images will stay with me forever.


                          • #28
                            well, not much of a story but my family has been involved at GU for a long time. My grandparents were good friends with Jack Stockton and his wife ( who's name is slipping from memory this early in the morn) My dad and all his brothers (4 of them) went to GU along with 3 of their wifes. My father was on the head of the council for the move to get COED dorms at GU. My dad's little brother grew up best friends with John Stockton they used to ride their big wheels around my grandma's house and my dad used to babysit them. My uncle did radio for the zags while he was there. Anyway's basically out of about 20 people in my extended family on my dad's side only 2 did not attend GU, myself (UW) and my sister (WSU). We did both grow up as GU fans and have been attending lots of GU events/games etc... for most of our lifes. Anyway's that's the rhyme and reason why i'm a Zag fan.


                            • #29
                              Ang...such a nice tour. John Firkins was among the best math guys I've ever met. Funny, bright and diverse in his interests. Funny how those teachers looked SO old then when they were a lot younger than we are now.


                              • #30
                                My freshman year was the first GU run to the Elite 8.

                                I ended up at Gonzaga because I wanted to go to a smaller school with an engineering program (I was fixing to be an ME at the time). I applied to Cal Poly, U of Portland, Seattle U, and Gonzaga. I got into all four, but I was late for the Cal Poly enrollment deadline, so I'd have had to postpone college by a year, and Gonzaga gave me more money than the other two Catholic schools.

                                In my first few days at GU I would have swore I was the only kid attending who didn't come from a private high school. TONS of kids were from Central Catholic and Jesuit in my hometown of Portland.

                                Before the basketball team made its way into history that first year of school I didn't know much if anything about the program.

                                All I remember is my uncle telling me before I decided to attend that, "GonzAHga is going to be a great basketball school." in his thick New Yorker accent. I didn't think anything of it at the time, but knowing how much of a basketball nut he is (he's the A.D. at Columbia now, but was previously the A.D. at NYU, Georgia State, and Oakland U in Mich.) and how obsessed he is with basketball in particular; I wasn't surprised to find out he was right.

                                I didn't attend many games in the Kennel; just the big rivalry ones. I caught a couple of away games at UofP. Just rarely had the time to camp out all night.

                                These days I usually reserve my attendance for the marquee games like Duke, Memphis, Stanford, et al. Every year I'm ready to pull the trigger on a package deal to get myself and some friends to the Final Four in hopes that GU makes it there, but so far...

                                We actually had a trip down to San Jose all planned out this last year, but then the guys decided to make it personal and throw the game just to spite me and my friends.