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BobZag
03-25-2011, 04:20 PM
By SID Oliver Pierce--

SPOKANE, Wash. (March 25, 2011 – http://www.gozags.com) – For three Gonzaga University women’s basketball players, staying at home for the NCAA Tournament takes on a little special meaning.

Junior Katelan Redmon, redshirt sophomore Molly Anderson and freshman Jazmine Redmon, are, indeed home as all three are Spokane products. Katelan is a graduate of Lewis and Clark High, Jazmine a Mead High graduate and Anderson is a Gonzaga Prep alumnus.

Katelan is the only one of the three who has played in the Spokane Veteran’s Memorial Arena, site of the NCAA Tournament Spokane Regional which has the 11th-seeded Bulldogs playing No. 7 seed University of Louisville Saturday at 6 p.m. Top-seeded Stanford University faces No. 5 seed University of North Carolina in the second game at 8:30 p.m. The winners meet Monday night for a trip to Indianapolis, Ind., and a berth in the Final Four.

Katelan played in the Spokane Arena twice as a member of the Tigers in the annual Rubber Chicken game which pits LC against Ferris in the spirit rivalry.

“I think we won both years,” she tried to recall in the locker room of the Arena prior to Friday’s practice. “But I think we won ‘Chuck” (the chicken) once and lost once.”

While the LC-Ferris spirit game normally fills about half of the 11,000-plus capacity the Arena will hold for the NCAA Tournament, Katelan said a full house in the Arena will be “crazy if it’s anything like we had in the McCarthey,” referring to the sold out First and Second Round games the Bulldogs hosted – and won - last weekend for the right to advance a mile from campus for the Regional.

Although having never played in the Arena, Jazmine has been a frequent visitor for other games.

“It’s a big gym, open like the McCarthey,” Jazmine said of the downtown Spokane facility. “It will be amazing because there will be so many fans. Tickets were sold out at the McCarthey (last weekend) so more (friends and family) will get to come.

“It will be crazy,” she said of the Arena crowd, which was within a thousand tickets shy of a sellout Friday afternoon. “There are so many people behind us that when they spell out G-O-N-Z-A-G-A a chill goes up my spine.”

Jazmine is expecting a large turnout of family and friends.

“My mom has nine brothers and sisters,” she said of the slew of aunts and uncles she expects to be among those in attendance.

Anderson was a redshirt on last year’s NCAA Tournament team, sitting out after transferring following one year of softball at Indiana University. She said she feels more a part of this year’s team.

“It’s not too different, but I feel more integrated with this team,” she said. “I feel like I’m a bigger part of it.”

And in a roundabout way, Anderson has “played” in the Spokane Arena.

“I was in a band concert in the fifth grade,” said the former trumpet player. “I don’t think you can say I played the trumpet because I didn’t do it very well. Mom and Dad use to make me practice in the basement.”

She said she took up the trumpet because her brother K.C., a GU alum and former crew team member, played.

“But it was a bad choice,” Anderson said of her short-lived musical career.

While Gonzaga knew entering this season the Bulldogs would play at home in the First and Second Round as hosts if they were part of the 64-team field, being sent to the Spokane Regional was icing on the cake.

“When I first heard our name I didn’t think it was in the Spokane Regional,” Katelan said. “But we were ecstatic when we saw it. The opportunity to stay home helped a great deal.”

While the lure of traveling to new destinations is most always appealing, the trio agreed sleeping their own beds is preferable.

“I kind of wish we would have got to travel, but I like to sleep in my own bed, too. I hate to live out of a suitcase because I always pack so many clothes,” Jazmine laughed.

Katelan took a similar outlook as Jazmine.

“It’s always fun to travel but I’d rather be at home sleeping in my own bed,” she said.

Anderson was in class during Selection Monday when the bracket was announced, “but I was so excited when I found out. It’s an amazing opportunity to do something special.”

That something special could happen in their hometown, which makes it even that much more memorable.