View Full Version : Meehan's Blog: "Five Seniors Close out Home Careers"

03-02-2009, 06:15 AM
Posted by Jim at 9:32 pm, March 1, 2009 (http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/sportslink/2009/mar/01/five-seniors-close-out-home-careers/)
Jeremy Pargo’s mom visited Spokane for his first day of school at Gonzaga four years ago. She’s coming back this week to see her first basketball game – and her son’s last – at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

“I can tell you I won’t cry,” said Pargo, looking forward to Tuesday’s regular-season finale against South Carolina Upstate. “The biggest emotional part for me is my mother seeing her first game in Spokane. My sister, two nieces and grandmother are coming with her. I’ll be a lot more excited about them getting in here than I am about walking out there with flowers in my hand.”


“To be honest, we lived in a basement for a long time and grandma was upstairs,” said Pargo, whose older brother, Jannero, played in the NBA and is currently playing overseas. “She’s a very strong woman. One of the things my mom believes in is doing things the right way. She’s the kind that if she saw someone drop a million dollars, she’d pick it up and give it back to them. When I was a kid, I never understood that. When you’re a kid, you want to keep the money.

“She’s a hell of a woman and I love her with all my heart. She’s strong – coming from my grandma she had no choice but to be strong.”

Pargo’s mettle has been tested this season. The Cousy Award finalist started out playing the best basketball of his career, but his performance slipped at midseason after he committed a couple of costly turnovers in Gonzaga’s loss to Connecticut.

“When you play in a high-profile program like this and you’re kind of the lightning rod, you’re probably going to get more criticism than strokes,” Few said. “He’s certainly had that. He had a tough part where he was questioning his confidence and himself, but he’s worked his way through it and played well down the stretch.”
Heytvelt was recently named to the WCC All-Academic team after earning a 3.5 grade-point average as a graduate student in organizational leadership.

“He’s arguably the MVP of the conference down the stretch,” Few said. “Just to have the courage and character to come back from something like that and deal with everything thrown at him on the road, it’s a great story. It’s probably one of the best things that has happened to me as a coach.”
Downs, a McDonald’s All-American, began his collegiate career at Kansas before transferring to GU at semester break of his freshman year.

“What he was really looking for was a family atmosphere and a group of guys and a staff he could get close to,” Few said. “And he’s found that.”

Downs has averaged 8.2 points as a Zag.

“He came in probably as the most hyped kid,” said San Diego coach Bill Grier, the former long-time Gonzaga assistant. “He’s had to grow up a lot and in talking with the staff that’s the one thing they’ve been amazed with is his maturity this year. The thing I’ve noticed watching him on film and in the two games we’ve played against them, he’s really done a good job accepting his role, whether he’s a starter or coming off the bench.”

Downs’ grandmother, girlfriend and a conditioning coach from high school will be on hand Tuesday.

03-02-2009, 06:52 AM
Nice read. Prior to Heytvelt, I didn't place much stock in sports redemption tales. His has been an eye opener for me. I'll miss watching these guys don Zag unis. Here's to a stretch run for the ages!

03-02-2009, 07:36 AM
Until reading Few's comments, I never really put much thought into the verbal abuse that Josh must face every road game in the WCC. It's amazing, for someone still so young he has handled this whole situation like a true professional.

03-02-2009, 08:39 AM
Was a good story and a good read as usual.....

03-02-2009, 08:49 AM
Was a good story and a good read as usual.....

I'm really hoping these 5 get a good ending to their season and career.

03-02-2009, 08:59 AM
This one ZN, goes right to the heart. Thanks. This article says how I feel about this team, and that's why it's such a special team to me. I can relate to these guys, and I always have. And that's precisely why I've never given up on these guys, and I will believe in them 'til the very end. I think they're a special group. Tomorrow night will be so very special. I love the piece about Pargo's mom and family coming. It brought a few tears to my eyes too (and I'll put my two cents on Pargo shedding a few too come Tuesday night). There's nothing wrong with a few tears, and especially when they come from the love we feel inside for our familly. I can't believe that Jeremy's mom has never seen him play in college. To me that's just really sad, and I'm so glad she's coming to see him tomorrow. And his grandmother too.

I really appreciated Few's comments here. He's able to show his feelings for these guys, and I think that this team is pretty special for him too. It's just a great story, and I hope it gets a whole let greater. This article has rekindled my hope, rekindled my fire. How can we NOT appreciate these guys, what they've been through, what they've done, and what they are going to do. Yes. The Best is Yet to come.

03-02-2009, 09:48 AM
Downs’ . . . conditioning coach from high school will be on hand Tuesday.


. . . .sorry.

03-02-2009, 01:58 PM
love these retrospectives this time of year, the stories that tell of seniors getting from wherever to here and now, and of how their teams have grown and continue to develop and bond, each their own awesome story.

Thank you again ZN.

and GO GO GO ZAGS!!!

03-02-2009, 05:58 PM
Pargo may not cry, but I will.

I will bring a couple of hankies tomorrow night.

We will dearly miss seeing these gentlemen play on our court.