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Thread: In recognition of past players.

  1. #1

    Default In recognition of past players.

    I get emotional looking at past players over the last twenty years. I thought for this thread for each of us to choose a player from this magical era and say something about that player. One player per poster if that is okay. I'll start it off randomly, and keep in mind this player does not have to be a starter. Hopefully we can get eveyone mentioned. My pick is Derek Raivio. Derek always amazed me with his toughness and he was a great FT shooter. The best ever at GU. I wish he could have had better in the UCLA loss. I rarely saw him smile that year but he had a great sr season. He reminds me of the Professor in those trick You Tube videos. He has been very succesful and has had a great pro career. Thank you Derek for being such a blessing and continuing the tradition of having great Zag guards throughout.

    Btw ..I could say so much more but its so hard on this phone.

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    Raivio is my 1B, Yukon.

    1A is Casey Calvary. Until Shem came along, Casey (& Mark Spink) won more NCAA Tourney games than any Zag.

    Casey was just so hyper-competitive that he willed his team to a lot of victories. The most telling thing I've ever heard in that regard came from former Asst. Coach Bill Grier. To paraphrase he said "Casey was a scary dude. Even the coaching staff was afraid of him." Love it.
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    Sean Mallon bc without him m the Zags wouldn't have program progressed

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    J.P. Batista is one of my all time favorite players but I love them all really. Each have their own place and memories.

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    Since Raivio has been taken I will mention one of the other Vancouver area Zags. Zach Gourde; he wasn't the most talented big on the team, but like Mallon did in his time, he did his part to help move the GU program forward. He played on the same Prairie HS team as DD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEC26 View Post
    J.P. Batista is one of my all time favorite players but I love them all really. Each have their own place and memories.
    Frank Burgess. He put Gonzaga on the map before Stockton.

    Just really too bad he left us too soon, nobody would have enjoyed today's Zag victory more...

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    I'd have to say Mike Hart... He epitomizes what this "team" has been over the last two decades. Find your role, and excel in that role - put your personal stats aside and just do whatever it takes to get the job done.

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    So many to name, but Errol frickin' Knight comes first to mind. Great hops and Zag spirit.

    One thing to note about the Zags of the late '80s and '90s. Those guys are pretty much unheralded, but the Fitz years were great for GU basketball. The teams in the '90s, including the great '99 team, had I think eight seasons of 20+ wins.

    The most peculiar memory I have is the first few years of real success, when CBS and ESPN didn't even have a logo image for the Zags for their on-screen graphics. Just "Gonzaga Bulldogs" in text fashion. That actually went on for a couple of years, if I recall.

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    I know its not a player and you can delete this post if you want, but I want to put Father Tony in this thread. His contributions to GU Basketball may not have been seen on the court, but he was a grounding influence to our young men. To remind them what it was to be a Zag. To work hard for a goal, and keep working when the odds were against them. I look at that chair every time I have ever been to the MAC and I think that is just as much about the success of GU basketball as any player.

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    Corey Violette...the big man from Boise area. Was lucky enough to have my picture taken with Corey in the old Kennel. Corey was so tough ... he played through sprained ankles on several occasions. There was no quit in Corey.
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    Matty.......Just think, as a 18 yo freshman going into Madison Square Garden and slapping around the NC Tarheels....Geez, what a night and then having most of the offense go through him for several years. I remember the first few games the year after he left and the noticeable adjustment we had to make!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZionZag View Post
    Matty.......Just think, as a 18 yo freshman going into Madison Square Garden and slapping around the NC Tarheels....Geez, what a night and then having most of the offense go through him for several years. I remember the first few games the year after he left and the noticeable adjustment we had to make!!!!
    Matt Bouldin is at the top of my list of all-time favorite Zags (along with the already mentioned Errol Knight). Matty had a great all-around game - passing, shooting, rebounding, and toughness.
    "Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand."
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    What about Jeff Brown. Was he not one of the first UW transfers? We have had quite a few and Nigel is up there with the best of them. Without the transfers this year we do not make the final four. Congrats

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    My favorite Steven Gray
    20 Straight Big Dances

    10 Straight Round of 32s

    9 Sweet Sixteens

    3 Elite Eights

    2017 FINAL FOUR

    2017 NATIONAL RUNNER UP

    The Best Point Guard to ever play the game: John Stockton, most assists, most steals.

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    Calvary would have been my guy to comment on but somebody already did a great job of listing him here earlier. So I will go with Morrison. I think Morrison made Gonzaga really really cool. He took Gonzaga to a whole nother level. Morrison was a transcendent player. even non basketball fans knew who Morrison was. I loved that guy. always rose to the moment and had good performances when the lights were brightest. I will never forget hearing Kobe Bryant speak of Adam Morrison once when Kobe Bryant was on a late night tv show (it was david letterman show or Jimmy Kimmel show or Jimmy Fallon show something like that). The host was saying to Kobe basically what a joke it is to have Adam Morrison on there NBA title team roster. Kobe said, man you just don't know, Adam is a great player, he can score, he tears it up in practice, he just doesn't get to play much on this team etc etc. High praise from Kobe. Mount Rushmore of GU hoops for me is Stockton, Calvary, Morrison, and then you can pick #4

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    Dan Dickau. In '97 when he was a fr at UW, I went to one of their exhibition games because it was free, and after seeing Dan play, the next day I bought a season ticket. Six bucks a game for general admission; for a lot of the games you could just walk down and sit in about the 5th row, it was so empty. Then the Huskies squeaked into the tourney with a season ending win over UCLA and made the sweet 16.

    In December of that year, GU came to town; Santangelo, Frahm, Calvary, Hall, Hendrix et al. I was like, wow, this doesn't look like a small school team at all. UW with MacCulloch and Watts won about 88 to 81 or 2, but I became a Zag fan that night. And after a year of mostly misuse of Dan and a year of injury, I was really happy to hear he was transferring to GU as I had a pretty good idea of what he could do there. And having heard first hand reports of Stepp from folks in Eugene, I felt good about the chances of the then 2 year old run of the Zags continuing for a couple more. Little did I know....................

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    Quote Originally Posted by maynard g krebs View Post
    Dan Dickau. In '97 when he was a fr at UW, I went to one of their exhibition games because it was free, and after seeing Dan play, the next day I bought a season ticket. Six bucks a game for general admission; for a lot of the games you could just walk down and sit in about the 5th row, it was so empty. Then the Huskies squeaked into the tourney with a season ending win over UCLA and made the sweet 16.

    In December of that year, GU came to town; Santangelo, Frahm, Calvary, Hall, Hendrix et al. I was like, wow, this doesn't look like a small school team at all. UW with MacCulloch and Watts won about 88 to 81 or 2, but I became a Zag fan that night. And after a year of mostly misuse of Dan and a year of injury, I was really happy to hear he was transferring to GU as I had a pretty good idea of what he could do there. And having heard first hand reports of Stepp from folks in Eugene, I felt good about the chances of the then 2 year old run of the Zags continuing for a couple more. Little did I know....................
    great story. I remember watching the huskies team in 1998 with Mcullaugh when they lost at the buzzer to rip Hamilton and UConn. My son Isaiah who is a Huge GU fan was in the belly of his mother at the time, me and his mom we were watching the game at Reborn's house. we were deflated when UConn beat UW and bob bender in that game. We were so pumped up though for the future of UW hoops. We were just simply big fans of any basketball team in the state of Washington at that time.

    my son Isaiah was born a week or so later after that UW loss to UConn (Isaiah was born 3/31/98).

    The next spring was the beginning of it all. I was a young man still (25 years old), I watched the elite 8 game vs UConn in 1999 at Reborns house and I will never forget that game. My son was a little baby that day, he is now a freshman wide receiver at Idaho State University on there football team. So many great memories throughout the years. Our family has grown and matured and dealt with "life" and oh by the way Gonzaga hoops has been a MAJOR part of our once "young" families life transforming into a life of our kids "now grown"

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    Quote Originally Posted by CdAZagFan View Post
    I'd have to say Mike Hart... He epitomizes what this "team" has been over the last two decades. Find your role, and excel in that role - put your personal stats aside and just do whatever it takes to get the job done.
    Hart is still prolly digging out splinters from all the ball diving he did! A great Zag.
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    My favorite Zag of this era is Blake Stepp. Just loved watching him drain 3's from way deep, loved his toughness and his talent. He had great size for a guard and great talent, but his heart and toughness are what made him a special player and my all time favorite Zag. He's a former player in particular whom I hope can go to the Final Four in person and root these guys on to victory. Wonder if a bunch of former players will be in attendance. Hope so.
    “I don’t expect us to be perfect anytime soon,” guard Silas Melson said, “but one thing I do expect is trying to get better every day and playing tougher, harder and more physical than the opponent.”

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    I'll never forget former walk-on Mark Spink ... the slender tough guy who went toe to toe with Madsen and Young of Stanford in '99 ... and Postell and Glover of St. John's in '00. In my mind Spink is right up there when the term "ultimate" Zag is used.
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    Abdullahi Kuso.

    "Who?" youngins ask. He's one of the many Zags who have stepped up over the years when the Zags faced adversity, as well as one of those great JC transfer stories GU become known for. By no means a star, he's a Zag who helped keep the run alive when Heytvelt was suspended and injured. For me he represents toughness, adaptability and one of the unheralded heroes. Next Zag up!

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    Felix McGowan. He and I grew up together in a very small Montana town on an Indian Reservation. Improbably we both ended up as student athletes at Gonzaga.

    Felix was a great addition to the Jeff Brown era Zags, the team I consider as the ones who really started Gonzaga on the path to excellence. These guys went from an 8-20 record to just a couple seasons later making the WCC tourney championship game and coming up a little short. Mark Few was a second or third assistant on those teams with Billy Grier and Dan Monson.

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    Lot of GREAT ones here.

    I'll go with one of the nicest persons I've ever met....Ronny Turiaf. He came to the Bismarck civic center while playing for the Yakima Sun kings. Ronny had just come back from his heart surgery. I personally had ben injured and was VERY unsure of my future. After the game me and my family waited to see if we could get his autograph. Not only did we get his autograph...but the guy sat there and talked to us for prolly 20 minutes. Again, prolly one of the nicest people I have ever met on God's green Earth. This world needs more like him.

    As many GREAT ball players that GU has produced...they produce GREATER human beings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoZags View Post
    I'll never forget former walk-on Mark Spink ... the slender tough guy who went toe to toe with Madsen and Young of Stanford in '99 ... and Postell and Glover of St. John's in '00. In my mind Spink is right up there when the term "ultimate" Zag is used.
    What a great shout out. I remember that game so well and he played a big part. Another walk on that played a role in the Zags ascension.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim77 View Post
    Lot of GREAT ones here.

    I'll go with one of the nicest persons I've ever met....Ronny Turiaf. He came to the Bismarck civic center while playing for the Yakima Sun kings. Ronny had just come back from his heart surgery. I personally had ben injured and was VERY unsure of my future. After the game me and my family waited to see if we could get his autograph. Not only did we get his autograph...but the guy sat there and talked to us for prolly 20 minutes. Again, prolly one of the nicest people I have ever met on God's green Earth. This world needs more like him.

    As many GREAT ball players that GU has produced...they produce GREATER human beings.
    weii said

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