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azzagfan
04-02-2017, 10:13 PM
There was an amazing thread that I'm unable to find where people told their Zag "fan story". If anyone can find it, it would seem like a great one to bump today to let newer board members add their stories.

bartruff1
04-02-2017, 10:21 PM
My roommate at DeSmet Hall was a player during our freshman year in the Class of 61...

Ezag
04-02-2017, 10:32 PM
I started working at GU during the 1998-99 season. For something to do after work, I would go watch games in the old Kennel when you could just walk up, show your ID and go sit anywhere in the bleachers. Because of me, this magical run 19 years ago started :adored:

adoptedzag
04-02-2017, 10:48 PM
Married into it. Father in law played for gu. Wife and sister in law are both alumni. Hence the username since they are my adopted school

zagsfanforlife
04-02-2017, 11:05 PM
Dad took me to Scottsdale to watch spring training in 1999.. being the big basketball fans we were he asked 11 yr old me if I wanted to go to the west regionals which just so happened to be in Phoenix at the same time. Iowa state, Florida, Uconn and some team named Gonzaga was playing. Seeing the way Hall, Santangelo, Fraham , Calvary and Eaton competed against Florida, and watching Casey too in the buzzer beater then the next sat, give eventual national champs Uconn all they could handle, we were hooked. Im so grateful for the Zags and how much closer it has brought my dad and I. We were always close but the zags have made us best friends. All started in Phoenix, let's win this thing in Phoenix

demian
04-02-2017, 11:10 PM
my dad played at Gonzaga as a point guard in late 60's (reborn)!!! My mom also attended Gonzaga and my mom and dad met at Gonzaga and for me the rest is history lol. Obviously as a kid growing up, the John Stockton Olympic trials were a real neat moment in our household because of the connection of my mom and dad to Gonzaga and Stockton. Then of course in high school obviously the career of Stockton for the Utah Jazz brought attention to Gonzaga on a SMALL level. I remember when I was in college at Oklahoma State University Gonzaga made the NCAA tourney in 1995 and I was PROUD. Then in 1997/1998 season I remember watching espn sportscenter during thanksgiving weekend and seeing that Gonzaga beat Mississippi State (I believe it was the following year after Mississippi State had made the final 4) and Clemson in the Great Alaska Shootout. I COULDNT BELIEVE IT. I WAS SO PROUD. I WAS BRAGGING BIG TIME THAT WEEKEND. I remember also seeing on ESPN sportscenter later that season Gonzaga BARELY lost to Michigan State that season. Then I remember watching a Gonzaga game on television that season, it was a conference game and I COULD NOT BELIEVE HOW GOOD GONZAGA LOOKED. They had a GREAT post player named Bakari Hendrix, they had this freaky athletic kid in the low post named Casey Calvary who was a freshman but I remember Calvary blocking a shot against the wall at what was basically a high school gym at the old Kennel. The television announcer I remember made some reference to the fact that for a freshman Calvary was setting some kind of record for blocked shots by a freshman (or something like that). I couldn't believe how athletic and GOOD Gonzaga looked on television. I remember for the rest of that season telling all my friends = "HEY WATCH OUT FOR GONZAGA, THEY ARE REALLY GOOD AND COULD SURPRISE SOME TEAMS THIS SEASON." Well as we all know we DID NOT make the NCAA Tournament that season and that was a let down and I felt kind of disappointed because I couldn't tell my friends "I told you so" if Gonzaga made noise in March Madness. But then next season was the magical season. so from just a fan standpoint I would have to say the Great Alaskan Shootout in November of 1997 was the beginning for me

MJ777
04-02-2017, 11:34 PM
I first heard of Gonzaga in the 80s when I saw a highlight of Stockton on Sportscenter when I was in the AF and living in Great Falls, MT. I didn't really hear from them much until they started showing the WCC finals on ESPN in the early or mid 90s. I followed the 95 team with Rillie into the NCAA tournament. The 99 run made me a Big fan because it's always fun to root for an underdog. I was living in SW Washington at the time and I remembered Richie Frahm as a local Battle Ground Little league baseball All Star player from a few years earlier. Santangelo was from Portland so there was another local underdog to root for. I have followed them ever since as other SW Wash/Portland players like Gourde, Dickau, Raivio, Hart, Williams-Goss, etc. joined their ranks. Rem Story: I was screaming at a referee at a WA playoff game when Rem's dad Bill was coaching for Toledo HS. That was a few years before Rem was born. I was rooting for the other team, but Bakamus probably thought I was NUTs! I have to admit I was a bit nuts that day.

It's always a joy to follow the Zags and their men of high character.

gonzagafan62
04-03-2017, 12:14 AM
Ronny Turiaf and his big fro got me loving a Gonzaga.

Became diehard in 2007 with the Raivio led team after Heyvelt and Theo got suspended. (That's not whybi became diehard though haha, that was still Ronnys doing. His carachter love for life and coming back to senior night with Michaelson was priceless.

I was a diehard as of 2007 because that's when I found out Gonzaga had games on ROOT via Directv. I started watching everything. 2008-09 was such a joy and the shot by Meech!

Really made Gonzaga my #1 priority over NFL when Steven Gray came along. He gave me so much pride in this team. Marquise Carter didn't hurt either in 2011. Winning WCC after being down 3 games and winning the conference tourney and beating St. John's will always be near and dear to my heart... Rob Sacre and his gleeful personality and talking to Reggie Miller and joking before the 2012 team was superb and brilliant.

I love Sam Dowers shot from January 29, 2014 @SCU. Stocktons spin in later that year in conference tourney and Drainos block on MacArthur was SWEET!

So many many many many more memories but those I hold so close because our backs were to the wall and we had to do something. Last year was awesome too.

But it all started with Turiaf and I've not looked back since. Every time my favorite player leaves I can instantly get a new favorite on the current squad because this team is a family. A band of brothers that will never quit.

Go damn zags!

75Zag
04-03-2017, 01:02 AM
My true story is not as heartwarming as some, but that does not mean I am not a life-long Bulldog Basketball fan. The Lovely Mrs. '75 and I met early in our freshmen year at GU (fall of 1971). Fast forward a few weeks and we wanted somewhere to be alone other than Mission Park, which was getting pretty cold at night. And since each of us had a roommate and since our coed dorm Catherine-Monica was at that time under the very, very watchful eye of the Dorm Mother - Mrs. Hutton, we needed a better place to make out. And so we suddenly discovered on a very cold evening in late October or early November of 1971 that we could go to Kennedy Pavilion while the basketball team was playing and due to the attendance of 750 people (on a good night) there was virtually nobody on the upper level. And so I was introduced to my two favorite lifetime hobbies, Gonzaga basketball and sex, right there in the darkened upper levels of the GU arena.

Go Bulldogs!

jpn17
04-03-2017, 01:21 AM
My dad took me to my first Gonzaga game sometime in the mid-90's against LMU. I asked him if they would score 100 and he laughed and said probably not. They did and I've been a fan ever since.

GrizZAG
04-03-2017, 02:25 AM
Workmate was a GU Alum. He drove staff crazy in 1986 with how great Gonzaga was at basketball. We used to roll our eyes. He invited me to some games and then the Calvary came to town with the others who made that Elite 8 in the late 90's. The pride of Spokane was bolstered greatly by that beautiful wild run and I was smitten with Gonzaga Basketball. As I learned who Mark Few really was and admired him so much as time went on I just became devout in my fandom. Now I have been the guy that makes people roll their eyes with my enthusiasm and belief in this program. I too have made converts to Zagnation and am so excited to see this program become a powerhouse. This year solidifies my belief in MF and devotion to the program. My wife jokes about how much I know about each kid that has played over the years. That is because of this great GU Board and the great folks in it. The program makes Spokane a better place to live for all.

scott257
04-03-2017, 04:24 AM
It was 1999. I was watching the tournament on television in Austin, Texas and had been following the Gonzaga story. Watched the game and noticed that Mark Few was the assistant and in one of the crowd shots was his Mom and Dad (Norm and Barbara). I called my Uncle after the game and told him that I had seen Norm and Barbara at the basketball game...that following Sunday on his way out of Church my Uncle mentioned to Barbara that I had seen them at the game. Barbara was mad at me for not coming over to say hello not realizing that I had just seen them on television. Later that summer on one of my return trips to Oregon my Uncle and I went by their house to say hello and while we were visiting we talked about Gonzaga and the game, Norm gets up goes upstairs and comes down with a Gonzaga t-shirt and gives it to me. I have been a Gonzaga fan ever since and still have that t-shirt (never worn as it didn't fit then, now it does but it is one of my Gonzaga keepsakes). Anyway, all of my family in Creswell has passed on but I still keep in touch with Mark's mom and dad. On a side note, Norm had a bit of an accident earlier this year and broke his ankle so in Las Vegas at the tournament he sat with Barbara up in the handicap section as he was using a walker to get in and around. Keep his folks in your thoughts and prayers as Norm will be undergoing knee replacement surgery just after Easter. I believe he is 87 years old now so that will be quite a stressful time for him and the family.

MTZag03
04-03-2017, 04:34 AM
I applied to Gonzaga my senior year. It was spring of 99. I watched that first run as an incoming student and haven't looked back since.

TexasZagFan
04-03-2017, 04:55 AM
Pretty simple for me: I matriculated at GU in Sept of 72. Lived in DeSmet 3 of 4 years, lived next door to Willie Moss my junior year...never a dull moment. Willie was one of the nicest men you'd ever meet. Last two years, law students took over bottom two floors, undergrads top two. It was a match made in hell. Never could figure out how law students had to live in a dormitory...we're talking about 23-25 year old men. Hell, by the time I hit my 24th birthday, I had been a platoon leader for 3 platoons in Germany (btw, successful with all 3...lol). Shortly after my 25th birthday, I was the XO for a cobbled together 40 man detachment up in Northern Germany, 400 miles from home station, and we were the only Americans for 200 miles. Best summer of my life.

I only bring that up in comparison to the insufferable nature of most of those law students. During one of several meetings to address "concerns" regarding our rowdiness, Schiff wasn't having any of it, and had several quips that unfortunately I can't recall 40+ years later.

It took the Zags run in '99 to bring me back. After returning from Germany, I was wrapped up in UTEP hoops from 82-87, then came kids and the move to North Texas in '96. First road trip was the Wyoming game in Albuquerque, would set the stage for future trips. My oldest son was in middle school in '02, last trip to Nashville was a dream for me: both sons (28 & 15) and grandson (6) made the trip. As most of you know, my grandson (now known as Big D on these boards) was part of the halftime entertainment at Bridgestone Arena...a "slam dunk" competition.

These trips would not have occurred without Zag basketball. I'm with Few: Gonzaga basketball is a journey, not a destination. I hope we never fall into the trap of fan bases such as Duke, Kentucky, or other "blue bloods", where the season is a failure if you don't win the title, let alone sending death threats to referees when you lose.

O/T, I thought I handled my first meeting with a referee quite well. It was in Albuquerque, at the Marriott. We always made the trip when UTEP played at the Pit. During our second trip, I was at the bar with friends when I was introduced to Fred Carbone, a WAC referee back then. I smiled, shook his hand, and replied, "Oh I remember you! You cost us that game against San Diego St. when you made that BS call in the last minute!"

The next year, in the aftermath of the "Soup Campbell/Paper Cup" game, Fred was there with his wife...the wives/GFs had their own conversations going, we were talking hoops. He said, "Jimmy Clark thinks you're a legend. I told him about our meeting last year. He thought it was awesome, somebody vividly remembering a call from a couple of years ago." Jimmy was the official that gave "Soup" a do-over when a coke cup was thrown onto the court as the FT was being shot. Both Jimmy and Fred were the kind of referees you wanted to see on the road, and I've always appreciated that. Too bad they aren't available tonight.

Robzagnut
04-03-2017, 05:03 AM
1995, my wife was at GU Law School and my co-worker Dave Tomson at CMHC was the scorekeeper for the Zags (he also designed the dugouts for the new baseball field). He kept talking about John Rillie and how the Zags had a chance to go to the NCAA tournament for the first time. He was so excited. They lost to Joe Smith and Maryland, but I started going to the games after that.

For the last 20 years I take very first Thursday and Friday of the tournament off work (it used to cost $120 to get the other 3 stations on cable). 16 games on Thursday, 16 games on Friday, 8 on Saturday, 8 on Sunday. The best 4 days of the year, especially when the Zags survive and advance. This year was sooooo much better.

UABZag
04-03-2017, 06:23 AM
My job took the wife and I to Spokane in July 1999. Grew up in the Southeast. Lifelong sports fan. Never heard of Gonzaga. Attended a continuing education dinner and after the drug rep gave his pitch, Leon Rice gave a speech. I was not sure who Coach Rice was or why he was speaking at a drug rep dinner, but he gave a great talk about Gonzaga basketball. We've been following the Zags ever since and four job transfers and two kids later we are family of die hard Zag fans and travel to see them every chance we get. We are so proud of Coach Few and the team! Wife cried after the South Carolina game.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

stevet75
04-03-2017, 06:31 AM
My dad took me to a game to see Burgess play. I was around 9 years old and don't remember much, but I have been a fan since.
My dad wasn't really a basketball fan, but was impressed by the Gonzaga star.

gmo
04-03-2017, 06:42 AM
Started at Gonzaga in 1992 living in C/M. Went to just about every home game while I was there and also followed some road games on this strange new thing called Prodigy.

Hoopaholic
04-03-2017, 06:53 AM
Dad graduated from Zagville and then graduated from law school at Zagville

Since then 6 of his 8 kids have attended undergrad school participating in crew, softball, rugby, cross country and one was SPIKE

One sibling also went on to law school at Zagville

I now have a neice who will be attending in the fall for Masters program in Psychology

Hooked when I was able to walk up and watch J Stockton play......die hard since

We even took an all family to Orlando to celebrate mom and dads 50th anniversary

Hoopaholic
04-03-2017, 06:54 AM
My dad took me to a game to see Burgess play. I was around 9 years old and don't remember much, but I have been a fan since.
My dad wasn't really a basketball fan, but was impressed by the Gonzaga star.

wow Dad fills me full of Burgess stories to this day..........

All Weather Fan
04-03-2017, 07:35 AM
My late aunt, an old maid nurse in Spokane was a huge fan in the 60's & 70's. After moving to Spokane in 1982, my first game at the Kennel I was actually rooting for Idaho. Shortly after, I became a fan following them in the Spokesman Review
& attending games occasionally. Have attended every WCC tournament since 2003 & first & second weekends of NCAA's 7 or 8 times. Picked up the last season ticket offer folder at a game at the old Kennel & ordered tix to the Mac the next day. Best thing I have ever done. Sure makes Spokane winters more bearable ! Am writing this from my hotel room in Phoenix & can't wait for tonight ! Granddaughter, a sophomore at GU is here & my daughter flew in yesterday to share in this epic event.

LongIslandZagFan
04-03-2017, 07:42 AM
Mom taught there... I went there... always enjoyed the games. Sorry... kind of a boring story.

MichZagFan
04-03-2017, 07:42 AM
I became a fan during "the runner" game. And I've cheered for them ever since. It wasn't until the 2006 UCLA game that I knew how much I loved the Gonzaga program because that game broke my heart into a million pieces.

Michigan basketball was awful for so long so I adopted Gonzaga. I'll be cheering for both teams til my dying day.

jazzdelmar
04-03-2017, 07:53 AM
Matt Santangelo played point guard just like my son. The rest is history. One shining moment.

TimberZag
04-03-2017, 08:10 AM
Can't remember when I wasn't a zag fan. My dad spent time with me if I when running with him, skiing with him, or watching zag games with him. I was his sidekick. Started watching games when I was 9. At age 26, I was an ad exec for KHQ when Lon Lee first agreed to broadcast a number of games in 2001 on both KHQ and PAX tv. I sold the first "Gonzaga Advertising package" to the Swinging Doors Tavern.

gueastcoast
04-03-2017, 08:13 AM
Was a student in the late 80s, have stayed involved with the school in various capacities since, and love college basketball (always have), so a no-brainer. Also lived across the hall (3rd floor Desmet) my sophomore year from three awesome guys named McPhee, Spradley, and Delaney.

ldszagfan
04-03-2017, 08:18 AM
Born near Seattle. Raised in Spokane. GU was the first college sport team that I ever really watched. Been an avid fan since I was a kid in '99.

Jazzgirl_127
04-03-2017, 08:32 AM
I don't remember if I posted in the original thread, but I was a Stockton fan first (since middle school, prior to that I can only blame distance from the team and a lack of cable TV for not admiring his play sooner). Then the NBA lockout happened when I was a high school freshman and one of the sports magazines mentioned that he was working with his old team. Needing a basketball fix, I watched a very late night GU game and really liked the team, months later when the tournament came around I was already rooting for the Zags. And because they always have amazing student athletes on their team, I'm still a fan all these years later.

Zagdawg
04-03-2017, 08:45 AM
Began looking at Gonzaga in '86 for school and attended 88-90 -- enjoyed my time there and was drawn back into the excitement with our '95 team dancing in Salt Lake where we were beat down by Maryland.

LongIslandZagFan
04-03-2017, 08:50 AM
Was a student in the late 80s, have stayed involved with the school in various capacities since, and love college basketball (always have), so a no-brainer. Also lived across the hall (3rd floor Desmet) my sophomore year from three awesome guys named McPhee, Spradley, and Delaney.

Attended around the same time. ('85-'90)

former1dog
04-03-2017, 08:56 AM
How Former1dog became a Gonzaga Bulldog and Fan(atic) of all things Gonzaga, the long version.

I started at Gonzaga as a student in the fall of 1988. I attended based on couple of factors. First, I got an ROTC scholarship that provided the means to afford it and secondly (most importantly) was that when my Dad found out I was interested, he was in full support... that was enough for me as my Dad's opinion meant everything to me. Dad had attended Gonzaga for a year, but left because there wasn't a pharmacy school there, but always loved the place. I also had an Uncle attend, lots of cousins and a few folks from my hometown (I'll come back this point in a minute).

When I arrived at GU, I very much wanted to try out for the cross country and track team as I had been a decent distance runner in high school but had not come close to accomplishing my goals in the sport. I showed up for the first practice and a love affair began that continues to this day. I participated in 11 seasons of competition at Gonzaga, 4 years of Cross Country, 4 years of outdoor track and 3 years of indoor track. I'm proud to say that along with my teammates, my four years as a Gonzaga student athlete were successful, rewarding and memorable. I still follow and am in contact with the XC and Track teams to this day and follow them closer than the basketball team. They are doing amazing things with the leadership of the legendary Pat Tyson as the coach.

My athletic days at Gonzaga link me in a few ways to the team today. First, I mentioned I only did 3 indoor track seasons. Well, that was because I hurt my ankly terribly in January of 1989 and had to miss indoors that year. As I started to recover and get back into shape, I could run but not quick enough to keep up with my teammates. Coach Tom Lyons didn't want me to train alone, though, so he assigned me a training partner from the women's team. Fellow freshman Marcy Laca got the assignment. Despite my overwhelming geekiness, Marcy was kind to me and helped me get back into shape. Marcy was a great student and was a tremendous track athlete, but had other interests and that spring was her last on the track team. Marcy has gone onto great things one of which was to marry Mark Few. Yep, that Marcy (Laca) Few.

The second interesting way I'm linked to the team is a rumor, which I happen to think is true. The rumor in 1989 ish was that the NCAA wanted to drop Gonzaga out of Division 1, as we were such a small school, didn't sponsor a lot of sports, and weren't competitive in the major sports (basketball team won 4 division 1 games that year, 8 total). The rumor continues that a letter was written at the behest of Dan Fitzgerald to the NCAA. The letter essentially pleaded for Gonzaga to remain in Division 1 and (here's the kicker) justified our status by reminding the NCAA about how competitive our Cross Country team was in the WCAC conference (we had strung together several 2nd place finishes to power house University of Portland).

My last significant connection to the basketball team and the reason I became a huge fan was because of Felix McGowan. Felix and I have known each other since about the fourth grade. We went to school together and played all sports together in our tiny little north eastern Montana town. We both did well in sports, but Felix was a stand out in basketball. He was the star of our team and was an All Stater. He was the only native Montanan to be recruited and to sign with Montana State the year we graduated high school. The problem, the coach at Montana State had no intention of giving Felix an actual opportunity to play. Disillusioned, Felix decided to transfer after a redshirt year at MSU to North Idaho College. Felix thrived there and quickly became the star player in his 2 years at NIC. Great for me because I got to as many games as I could. I knew Felix would be a great asset to Gonzaga, so I dug out my high school year book and went to the Gonzaga coaches (might have been Billy Grier and Mark Few, I can't quite remember) and showed them photos and stats from Felix's high school days and told them they needed to check him out at NIC. Well, its likely they already knew about Felix. He was recruited and came to play for Gonzaga.

Felix played behind Jarrod Davis in his first season. Memorably though, he came in on a couple of late game situations because Fitzgerald liked that he could create his own shot. He did that for the team and managed to make a couple of last second game winning shots. It was at this time that I became permanently hooked as Gonzaga Fanatic. Those teams that Felix played on with Jeff Brown and others were really the start of this great run.

So, thats the long version :)

LouisianaZag
04-03-2017, 08:56 AM
I was a high school coach with a mother who was a total basketball junkie. I was staying with her one night. I got there late and she was watching the Zags with Adam Morrison. She said I was going to love the way this team played. She was right and have been a faithful fan ever since.

coolhandzag
04-03-2017, 09:15 AM
Fitz. suggested I try to walk on.
Learned very quickly 5'10" pretty small for D1 ball.......people generally don't understand how good a D1 player is. I don't care what school they are from.
Met Mrs. CoolhandZag in Literature Class.
Snuck Spink into Shenanigans.
Attempted to incite riot of regional ASCE meeting in Corvallis.
Cherished the "old" Bulldog.
Graduated from GU in '97.
Zag ever since and always will be.

gonstu
04-03-2017, 09:20 AM
Don't know that I watched more that a minute of college basketball from birth through high school graduation - so boring!

Then I was a Frosh at GU for the 98-99 year. The R.A. and C.D. in the dorm getting everyone to go to some basketball thing called "Midnight Madness". I rolled my eyes and went along. I went and I was hooked: Santangelo, Frahm, Dench, Calvary, Q, and others...From there, I'm pretty sure I could count on 1 hand the amount of home games I missed those 4 seasons at GU. I always feel a special connection given that this current tournament streak started my first year at GU. So many fun memories. Thank you GU and Thank you Mark Few!

rennis
04-03-2017, 09:28 AM
I attended a small high school outside Spokane and started following the team in '95 when Blanchette was writing about them in their run up to making the NCAA tournament. Fell in love with the campus when I visited it for a week in the summer of 96 for business leadership camp of sorts for high schoolers around the state. Knew I had to go there for the academics and for basketball. Only school I applied to. My family didn't have a lot of money but GU got me enough financial aid to barely scrape by. My dad thought I was crazy to attend GU and work multiple part-time jobs to help pay for room and board when I could have gone to state on a full ride. I didn't care, I just wanted Gonzaga.

GU is one of my true loves :)

Reborn
04-03-2017, 09:33 AM
I became a Zag when I accepted my scholarship to play basketball at Gonzaga. I played in enough games there to have had an infusion of Zag Blood into my soul. Most of you don't know about the 1966-67 Gonzaga team that finished #20 in the AP poll. They never made it to the NCAA Tournament because the tournament was very small in those days. That team was awesome, and Kennedy Pavilion was often packed and big time crazy. I remember the WSU game most of all that year (I was a freshman). The lower level of Kennedy was packed with students and they all had these wooden blocks that they'd pound together in what was the best and loudest cheer ever. I loved how I felt that night as I listened to that sound of wooden blocks beating a pure sound of Zagness! I began to feel like what it meant to be a Zag that night. Even though we didn't have an idea yet what a Zag was. We were still Bulldogs!

When I was a freshman Billy Suter was my mentor, and he taught me what it meant to be a Zag, and how to be a successfull D-1 player. That guy was was so awesome. Those of you who don't know him have missed one of the great Zags. He infused that Zag spirit into me over the course of that year.

When I joined the Gonzaga basketball forum, some 15 years ago (it wasn't GUboards at that time), and became a fan, Zag basketball took on a whole new meaning. I was not able to appreciate all the joy of being a fan while growing up because I was a player. I will never forget what it was like to be a player at Gonzaga U. It is deep inside me. I often have had great dreams of still playing there. But for most of my life I have been a Zag fan, and I love it. It is a big part of my life. Being in this community with you on GUboards has really been fun, and have enjoyed this journey with you all. For me it is like being in a family, within a larger community called ZagNation. I'm proud to be a member. So let's celebrate what we've all been dreaming of, A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

Go Zags!!!

MontanaCoyote
04-03-2017, 09:35 AM
Elgin Baylor, Seattle U, Seattle U grad, SU drops basketball, I drift, friend a Zag, I get bit, "AND THEN ALONG CAME KARNO"!

Przemek Karnowski/Gonzaga That's how and why. And why I went from "red shirt" to "zag for life" PDQ.

Go Zag's! Go Karno! Damn I'm going to miss him!

ChicagoZag
04-03-2017, 09:36 AM
I grew to love Gonzaga basketball as a student there in the late 80s (class of 1990). Our senior year was the year Mark Few mentioned as having just 4 division one wins. But all I remember is that we hung tough with ranked Oregon State and Gary Payton for a half.

How I first came to hear of Gonzaga is kind of an interesting story:

In eighth grade Pre-algebra (1982) , I got a new teacher in the middle of the school year. His name was Mr. Baldwin. Mr Baldwin said he had recently graduated from Gonzaga University. He had played basketball there.

As a basketball fan, I was fascinated with Mr. Baldwin. I got a big smile on my face the day he admonished me to pay attention while simultaneously acknowledging the quality of the sports logo I was drawing in my notebook. Mr. Baldwin took a day off to drive down to Salt Lake City and watch first round tournament games. I made a note to myself that I would need to do that someday.

I remember my jaw dropping when in the faculty vs 8th grade varsity game, Mr. Baldwin dunked on an alley oop from my soon to be football coach. I lived in Southeast Idaho. Live dunks were rarer than Bigfoot.

My jaw would drop again sometime a few years later when I realized that when Donnie Baldwin was the starter at Gonzaga, he had a backup named John Stockton.

Bowser
04-03-2017, 09:38 AM
From the first time I saw Reed Schifferman play basketball and saw Sam Cozza play soccer. Poetry.

cjm720
04-03-2017, 09:49 AM
Freshman year watching Goff, Brown, And Dudley. The cool thing about being on campus is many of the players are classmates and that connection extends to my fandom. Never missed a game in person other than my junior year in Florence. From my senior year and our first dance on the big stage to a a national championship run is so surreal. I am more emotional today than any day in my life...what an amazing opportunity Zags!!! Let's do this!!!!

ZAG'em
04-03-2017, 10:11 AM
I got to know a couple volunteers at the VA hospital (Lee and Ted) that were huge Gonzaga fans. We would talk about the team about the games and recruits coming in. Lee bought season tickets for the new McCarthey Center but sadly passed away before seeing a game there. It was a very tough time for Ted but thanks to the GUboards I would print out articles of the players and recruits for the team. He couldn’t bring himself to go to any games that first year but the second year asked if I would like to go with him. We’ve been going ever since and both of us appreciate all the information we get at this site. Thanks to all who contribute. GO ZAGS.

U Zig, I Zag
04-03-2017, 10:23 AM
Always enjoyed basketball. Kid of the late 80's/early 90's so I grew up on Duke, UNC, etc on ESPN. Playing pickup games we all took on 'personas' of the Dukies, UNLV, Fab5, etc.

Gonzaga didn't happen for me (we couldn't swing it financially) so I followed other family to state schools. Family played for GU in eras long ago, so there has always been some affinity (plus, while I wasn't born here, I grew up in the PNW you root for the local guys). I can't really pinpoint it, but at some point I started watching each game (when available in the early days post '99). I remember watching some stream from the Great Alaskan Shootout. I am trying to think the last time I actually missed a game (some were recorded and watched later).

This place is generally really good. Some curmudgeons, but that's what makes it fun. Lots of basketball knowledge. It's far more organized and centralized than other MBB fourms I might visit. Thanks to S-R for hosting.

bballbeachbum
04-03-2017, 10:43 AM
99 and the Stanford game. I went to Cal so rooted vehemently against Stanford, then fell in love with the little west coast team that could and 'the slipper still fits!' against Florida and almost UConn. I've always coached at smaller clubs and schools looking to grow from pretty much nothing to something and beat the big boys, or at least compete with them, and Few's ability to maintain the trajectory and not flame out, and also to remain and see that he could do it there his way and succeed and maintain his lifestyle, I mean, he's the MAN to me for that. I try to do that at my own level and he's given a lot of us even more reason to believe we can

gueastcoast
04-03-2017, 10:44 AM
I grew to love Gonzaga basketball as a student there in the late 80s (class of 1990). Our senior year was the year Mark Few mentioned as having just 4 division one wins. But all I remember is that we hung tough with ranked Oregon State and Gary Payton for a half.

How I first came to hear of Gonzaga is kind of an interesting story:

In eighth grade Pre-algebra (1982) , I got a new teacher in the middle of the school year. His name was Mr. Baldwin. Mr Baldwin said he had recently graduated from Gonzaga University. He had played basketball there.

As a basketball fan, I was fascinated with Mr. Baldwin. I got a big smile on my face the day he admonished me to pay attention while simultaneously acknowledging the quality of the sports logo I was drawing in my notebook. Mr. Baldwin took a day off to drive down to Salt Lake City and watch first round tournament games. I made a note to myself that I would need to do that someday.

I remember my jaw dropping when in the faculty vs 8th grade varsity game, Mr. Baldwin dunked on an alley oop from my soon to be football coach. I lived in Southeast Idaho. Live dunks were rarer than Bigfoot.

My jaw would drop again sometime a few years later when I realized that when Donnie Baldwin was the starter at Gonzaga, he had a backup named John Stockton.

Love this!

maynard g krebs
04-03-2017, 10:45 AM
First memory is John Rillie going off in the conference tourney in '95. Then I kind of forgot about the Zags until December '97. I had no real rooting interest in the NW at the time, but I went to the Huskies free exhibition game v a touring eastern Euro team and saw a fr pg for the Huskies named Dan Dickau.

He played just like any of the great Philly Big Five pg's I'd grown up watching in the 60's and early 70's when Villanova, Penn, LaSalle, St Joe's and Temple were all players on the national landscape. The next day, I went out and bought a general admission season ticket for the princely sum of $97. In December of that year, GU came to town. Santangelo, Frahm were sophs. Bakari Hendrix a sr, Hall a jr, Calvary a fr. They lost to that year's sweet 16 Huskies something like 88-82, but I became a fan that night.

When I heard he was transferring to GU, I was elated, because I knew what he could do when freed up in GU's system.

maynard g krebs
04-03-2017, 10:47 AM
I became a Zag when I accepted my scholarship to play basketball at Gonzaga. I played in enough games there to have had an infusion of Zag Blood into my soul. Most of you don't know about the 1966-67 Gonzaga team that finished #20 in the AP poll. They never made it to the NCAA Tournament because the tournament was very small in those days. That team was awesome, and Kennedy Pavilion was often packed and big time crazy. I remember the WSU game most of all that year (I was a freshman). The lower level of Kennedy was packed with students and they all had these wooden blocks that they'd pound together in what was the best and loudest cheer ever. I loved how I felt that night as I listened to that sound of wooden blocks beating a pure sound of Zagness! I began to feel like what it meant to be a Zag that night. Even though we didn't have an idea yet what a Zag was. We were still Bulldogs!

When I was a freshman Billy Suter was my mentor, and he taught me what it meant to be a Zag, and how to be a successfull D-1 player. That guy was was so awesome. Those of you who don't know him have missed one of the great Zags. He infused that Zag spirit into me over the course of that year.

When I joined the Gonzaga basketball forum, some 15 years ago (it wasn't GUboards at that time), and became a fan, Zag basketball took on a whole new meaning. I was not able to appreciate all the joy of being a fan while growing up because I was a player. I will never forget what it was like to be a player at Gonzaga U. It is deep inside me. I often have had great dreams of still playing there. But for most of my life I have been a Zag fan, and I love it. It is a big part of my life. Being in this community with you on GUboards has really been fun, and have enjoyed this journey with you all. For me it is like being in a family, within a larger community called ZagNation. I'm proud to be a member. So let's celebrate what we've all been dreaming of, A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!!

Go Zags!!!

Thanks for the history lesson. I had no idea about the 66-67 team being ranked. Great post.

jazzdelmar
04-03-2017, 01:26 PM
First memory is John Rillie going off in the conference tourney in '95. Then I kind of forgot about the Zags until December '97. I had no real rooting interest in the NW at the time, but I went to the Huskies free exhibition game v a touring eastern Euro team and saw a fr pg for the Huskies named Dan Dickau.

He played just like any of the great Philly Big Five pg's I'd grown up watching in the 60's and early 70's when Villanova, Penn, LaSalle, St Joe's and Temple were all players on the national landscape. The next day, I went out and bought a general admission season ticket for the princely sum of $97. In December of that year, GU came to town. Santangelo, Frahm were sophs. Bakari Hendrix a sr, Hall a jr, Calvary a fr. They lost to that year's sweet 16 Huskies something like 88-82, but I became a fan that night.

When I heard he was transferring to GU, I was elated, because I knew what he could do when freed up in GU's system.

DD=Steve Courtin?

rijman
04-03-2017, 01:46 PM
My father went to GU on a basketball scholarship in 1955 out of the Air Force. He was in a bad car accident the summer before and would never play ball again, but Hank Anderson honored his scholarship and took him on as an assistant, his only one back then. My dad got to travel with the team and got an engineering degree. When I was young I remember GU Priests stopping by the house when they were in the area and meeting former players and professors. My dad was forever grateful to GU and Hank Anderson for what they did for him. He stayed on after graduating to help Hank and that's when he met Frank Burgess, who he would stay in contact with the rest of his life. Meeting Frank at the WCC tourney at USD in 2008 with my dad was a thrill of a lifetime after hearing all the stories about him. Frank contacted me after my dad passed, which I'll never forget. Frank passed not too long after my dad, but my photo with him still hangs proudly on my wall. We considered GU when I went to college but I had a few golf scholarship offers in warmer areas, we're in San Diego, and GU didn't have golf scholarships back then (or so we were told), so we decided it didn't make sense for me to go there for golf.

A lot of people in my community think I went to Gonzaga (I own and wear at least 10 Zags shirts and fly a Zags flag on my house), I tell them I didn't if they ask, and many people in my area that send their child to Gonzaga contact me to let me know. I almost sent a son to Gonzaga last year, but he had the opportunity to go to Cal so he took it. My son is still a Zags basketball fan first and while disappointed he wasn't able to root for Jordan Matthews as a Golden Bear this season he was happy the Zags got him.

My dad gave me a Zags banner in 2006, which I hung on the door of my family room and we had the ritual of patting the banner before every game. We still pat the banner before every game and one extra time for my dad.

This is how I came to be a Zags fan for life.

Go Zags!!!

Zag79
11-15-2017, 12:47 AM
Listening to the games on the radio with my dad and little brother, then attending games at any cost, before becoming now a long time season ticket holder. It's incredible what this program has become, and where it is still going. Go Zags!

strikenowhere
11-15-2017, 05:17 AM
Started when I was in college in watching & rooting for the underdog '99 team and as the years went on I got more and more enthusiastic about them. I'd always been someone that picked an underdog in a sports video game and built them up into a dynasty, so it was natural to see the same process happening with the Zags over the years.

Bogozags
11-15-2017, 05:53 AM
Watching them play on TV as the game of the week, when they were part of the WCAC, with Dick Enberg broadcasting...those were the days of great college basketball!

gonzagafan62
11-15-2017, 06:47 AM
Ronny Turiaf and his Afro. Been diehard ever since

zagbeliever
11-15-2017, 09:13 AM
Our daughter was a student during the Zags' first big run in the tournament. I started following non stop but really when my friend who is a season ticket holder took me to a game I was forever hooked. Have gone to every game we can and all the tourneys since. Btw, our daughter who IS the alumni not a big fan of BB. lol She lives in Portland. I text "WE WON!!!" and she texts back "Yay!" She does watch with us when she's home.

FlyZag
11-15-2017, 09:32 AM
... Btw, our daughter who IS the alumni not a big fan of BB. lol

Well that there is just a sign of poor parenting. :jk:

zagnut2012
11-15-2017, 09:47 AM
Started hearing about this 3 point sharpshooter named John Rillie (1992-1995) and began following and listening on AM radio. I only had a small radio in my home at the time and had to lay on the floor of the bedroom to get reception. My wife walked in, to me laying on the floor with my ear to the radio, listening to the broadcast and asked "What in the world are you doing on the floor"? I responded "SHHHH I'm listening to Gonzaga..." She replied "OMG" and walked out. Now, I can pause the DVR when I get interrupted!

Zagnut 2012

zagbeliever
11-15-2017, 10:41 AM
Well that there is just a sign of poor parenting. :jk:

lol I've corrected that with our granddaughter. Last night we sat next to kennel kids and she kept up with them for the entire game. She even got invited for a picture with cheer leaders. :000tens:

RenoZag
11-15-2017, 01:00 PM
There was an amazing thread that I'm unable to find where people told their Zag "fan story". If anyone can find it, it would seem like a great one to bump today to let newer board members add their stories.

Two such threads devoted to GU fan experiences and origins:

http://guboards.spokesmanreview.com/showthread.php?78-Unofficial-Official-GUBoard-Introduction-Thread

http://guboards.spokesmanreview.com/showthread.php?29521-Greatest-quot-zags-quot-memory-you-have-that-you-witnessed-IN-PERSON

There may be others, azzagfan. . .

zag67
11-15-2017, 01:04 PM
Lived in Spokane. Watched Burgess and company. Also listened on the radio.
Went to GP and then GU. Was there when Leach, Brown, Sutter, Brodski, etc. were there. Fun to follow

LeightonZag
11-15-2017, 01:29 PM
I get this question about once a week as I live in Lincoln, Nebraska. When I was younger id usually get sent to bed around 9:30 but ornery me would sneak out of my room around 10 to catch some late night hoops and guess who happened to captivate my young mind about every other night? 2004 zags were the first team I can remember really following and it's history ever since. My life will be complete next year when the Zags demolish Creighton in my home state. Husker fans hate the blue jays so I will be bringing a large posse to cheer on GU!

Martin Centre Mad Man
11-15-2017, 05:00 PM
Two such threads devoted to GU fan experiences and origins:

http://guboards.spokesmanreview.com/showthread.php?78-Unofficial-Official-GUBoard-Introduction-Thread

http://guboards.spokesmanreview.com/showthread.php?29521-Greatest-quot-zags-quot-memory-you-have-that-you-witnessed-IN-PERSON

There may be others, azzagfan. . .

Another one.

http://guboards.spokesmanreview.com/showthread.php?34843-WHo-here-understands-basketball-from-a-players-viewpoint

JPW314159
11-16-2017, 08:53 AM
Lived in Spokane. Watched Burgess and company. Also listened on the radio.
Went to GP and then GU. Was there when Leach, Brown, Sutter, Brodski, etc. were there. Fun to follow

zag67 could you clear some space so I can send you a message? Thanks

Birddog
11-16-2017, 01:50 PM
I was born and raised for 16 years three blocks from the campus (my folks bought the house from Bill Frasier). Received my first letterman's jacket (replica) for Christmas when I was 6 yrs old. Hung out around campus with other neighborhood urchins as much as possible. Attended St Als, G Prep, and then graduated GU in '69. Been following the Zags ever since. I remember well when they made the NIT and played the 2nd round at Kansas St in Manhattan in 1995. I was in my driveway in central Oklahoma listening to the scratchy in and out KSU broadcast because that was as good as coverage got back then. My how times have changed.

BurgessEraZag
11-16-2017, 02:02 PM
Here's the old fart's story. I was SID in 1957 and roomed with Jean Claude Lefebvre in DeSmet 1st floor, southwest corner. Sat on the window sill to watch Kathryn Crosby dedicate the Library. Players, Blake Elliott, Charlie Jordon, Bob Turner, Norb Trauba (GP), etc. Saw Jean Claude drop 50 on Whitworth in their bandbox. Next year Frank Burgess arrived and he was my All-American. Dennis Vermillion, Richie Williams Gent Davis, Hans Andertsson and George Trontzos who played frosh ball. How could I not be a Zag fan of the Boone Avenue Bruisers?
I love you young guys stories and I live and die with the Zags fortunes in my retirement. What fun I had shooting hoops in practice with Frank Burgess. Wow.
Love all our GU hoop fans.

Birddog
11-16-2017, 04:59 PM
Here's the old fart's story. I was SID in 1957 and roomed with Jean Claude Lefebvre in DeSmet 1st floor, southwest corner. Sat on the window sill to watch Kathryn Crosby dedicate the Library. Players, Blake Elliott, Charlie Jordon, Bob Turner, Norb Trauba (GP), etc. Saw Jean Claude drop 50 on Whitworth in their bandbox. Next year Frank Burgess arrived and he was my All-American. Dennis Vermillion, Richie Williams Gent Davis, Hans Andertsson and George Trontzos who played frosh ball. How could I not be a Zag fan of the Boone Avenue Bruisers?
I love you young guys stories and I live and die with the Zags fortunes in my retirement. What fun I had shooting hoops in practice with Frank Burgess. Wow.
Love all our GU hoop fans.

Wasn't Oscar McGuire (Maguire?) there about then, he was another favorite of the local kids.

phxfireflames
11-16-2017, 05:23 PM
I was born and raised in LA and was originally a UNC fan until the end of grade school but was frustrated with all the players leaving the program early. I was also tired of friends and family rooting for UCLA around 04/05(They were so boring to watch on the offensive end of the floor). So naturally wanted to root for a program where:

-Players develop and stay in school
-Is fun to watch on the offensive end
-A school on the west coast so I can easily watch and be able to root against UCLA

#zagup

Nevada Don
11-16-2017, 06:21 PM
Two such threads devoted to GU fan experiences and origins:

http://guboards.spokesmanreview.com/showthread.php?78-Unofficial-Official-GUBoard-Introduction-Thread

http://guboards.spokesmanreview.com/showthread.php?29521-Greatest-quot-zags-quot-memory-you-have-that-you-witnessed-IN-PERSON

There may be others, azzagfan. . .

I think this is the best thread I've ever read here. Extremely enjoyable and I think informative as a reference on all of you people. Wish you would "keep it up" or "pin it" or whatever it's called. This thread tells a great story as a whole and it's parts. Thanks.

TheOtherGreatOne
11-17-2017, 06:04 AM
rony turiaf and his huge afro and I too have been die-hard ever since. Adam Morrison's 45 against Michigan State in the Maui Invational only solitified my love of the Zags.

BurgessEraZag
11-17-2017, 11:51 AM
Yes forgot him. Crazy bunch of gym rats in those years.

seacatfan
11-17-2017, 01:00 PM
My dad and I were at the Tourney games in Seattle in '99. Cheered hard for the Zags those 2 games and been on board with them ever since. We're NW natives and my dad instilled in me a tendency to root for local teams in general.

Darreno
11-17-2017, 02:18 PM
Coach Fitzgerald lived down the street from my grandparents, I have been rooting for the Zags for 40 years.......

ZagsGoZags
11-17-2017, 02:21 PM
the guys, and a few gals, in offices near mine used to talk so much about Steppe and Dickau's shooting ability in the halls, I was learning about the zags without wanting to
decided to check a game out to watch their shooting and got hooked after that

webspinnre
11-17-2017, 03:01 PM
Started as a freshman at Gonzaga in '02. Played in the Pep Band, was at the heart-breaking Arizona game that spring.

Zippyzaggy
11-17-2017, 05:24 PM
I was feeling a bit down because I'd been diagnosed with diabetes. This was twenty years ago. So, I decided to go for a loong walk with my Sony Walkman. I turned it on and the Zags were playing. I remember Dan Dickau hitting deep bombs in a come from behind win. I couldn't get enough of the Zags ever since and have not missed a game in twenty years. Turiaf, Morrison, Pangos, and now Jesse Wade are my all time favorites

RenoZag
11-17-2017, 07:15 PM
Attended GU from Fall 1975 - Spring 1979. Always enjoyed following college hoops. Once a Zag, always a Zag.

GeorgiaZagFan
11-17-2017, 07:38 PM
Grew up in Port Townsend, went to college in Spokane and had friends who went to Gonzaga back in the 70's. Moved to Georgia in the 80's..a college basketball fan moving to Georgia is the equivalent of a "surfer dude" moving to Kansas!! So when Gonzaga began their run back in the late 90's I was able to follow them and their amazing rise to national prominence.

Reborn
11-18-2017, 06:32 AM
Started hearing about this 3 point sharpshooter named John Rillie (1992-1995) and began following and listening on AM radio. I only had a small radio in my home at the time and had to lay on the floor of the bedroom to get reception. My wife walked in, to me laying on the floor with my ear to the radio, listening to the broadcast and asked "What in the world are you doing on the floor"? I responded "SHHHH I'm listening to Gonzaga..." She replied "OMG" and walked out. Now, I can pause the DVR when I get interrupted!

Zagnut 2012

I love this post.

Reborn
11-18-2017, 06:48 AM
I was feeling a bit down because I'd been diagnosed with diabetes. This was twenty years ago. So, I decided to go for a loong walk with my Sony Walkman. I turned it on and the Zags were playing. I remember Dan Dickau hitting deep bombs in a come from behind win. I couldn't get enough of the Zags ever since and have not missed a game in twenty years. Turiaf, Morrison, Pangos, and now Jesse Wade are my all time favorites

A heartfelt post. Beautiful story. I also love the stories about the neighborhood kids.....Wish I had been there. But can definitely relate to the idea of the neighborhood kids. The idea of neighborhood kids has been lost and I always feel sad when i THINK about it because it's something special. It's a sad thing for us as a society that we can no longer trust people we live near, and do not feel safe even in our neighborhoods. The neighborhood kids have been replaced by cell phones, and I don't blame the kids. I blame their parents. Sorry for the ramp, but the stories of the neighborhood kids just touched me in a special way.

Reborn
11-18-2017, 07:20 AM
When I was a freshman at GU I got to watch that great team in 66-67, nationally ranked in the top 20 (most people don't remember that this was the first nationally ranked team). I think the Kennedy Pavilion was packed for most games. i especially remember the WSU game because I was from Yakima and had also considered going to Washington State U. The students in the rooting section all brought wooden blocks to the game, and they had a couple of cheers where they banged those blocks together in unison, and it really made a cool, loud sound. I played some basketball with a couple WSU starters at the YMCA in Yakima during the summers (Ted Wierman and Lenny Allen) and followed their college careers closely. Ray Stein, another starter for WSU, was a hero of mine in high school. So the GU vs WSU was always the favorite game every season. And back in those days the Cougars were a pretty darn good team and always beat us pretty bad.

The next couple of years I got to play on the same gym floors with those guys and that was a dream come true for me. They are some of my all-time favorite memories. AND when I stole the ball from Ray Stein and made the layup my sophomore year I discovered Heaven on Earth for a brief moment in time.

AFTER leaving Gonzaga I wasn't a huge fan until the '99 team and of course ,like so many of us, I was hooked forever. When I joined GUboard the whole idea of being a fan took on new and deeper meaning,and I have really enjoyed being on this forum with you all. It's been both an interesting and heart-felt ride with you. Being here on this forum is really quite like being on a team. We have a special relationship that most fans don't experience. I've always liked playing on a team, and being on a team at work, so I guess I am so lucky to be on a team with you all.

Go Zags111