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Thread: - - -The Return of Woohoo to GU- - - (in photos and story)

  1. #1
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    Default - - -The Return of Woohoo to GU- - - (in photos and story)

    What a trip. I feel like I say that every time I take a GU-related trip. It's always something I'll say was 'the trip of a lifetime'. I think that just shows how special the GU family is. Everyone I come in to contact with on these trips just seems like an amazing person. That can't just be by chance. I think it's simply a 'GU thing'.

    Anyway, let's start here- Ever since Kaleb was a little guy, I decked him out in GU gear. He loved wearing this white zags jersey. One of his first words was 'Onsaga' (Gonzaga). Since he was this size (below), I'd been dreaming of seeing him play in the McCarthey Athletic Center. That dream came true a few days ago at camp.

    Allow myself to introduce....myself...

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    As I had mentioned in the original thread about even the possibility of bringing WoohooJr out to camp, I wouldn't have been able to come out at all without a little help and a little nudge from a few posters. I'm so glad I did. I'll never forget this trip. I know WoohooJr (Kaleb) feels the same. 4-5 times during our trip, he would just hug me and say something like "Thanks dad, this is so awesome". It doesn't get much better than that! Thank you everyone, for helping make that happen.



    So, we arrived via Alaska Airlines on Wednesday around 4:30pm. The wonderful and gracious Section116 (and wife) picked Kaleb and I up at the airport. I have to say, I got to spend more time with Mr. and Mrs. Section 116 on this trip, which was wonderful. For the last 10 years, it feels like I'd always seen them 'in passing' at zags games, and would get to chat for 3 minutes in the corridor or The Orleans or something. We got to spend a few hours together on this trip, and finally VISIT. It was great. They are genuine and wonderful people, and I'm glad to have met them through GU!! They drove us to a Safeway (I'd heard of Safeway, but never been in one!) for a few groceries to keep in our hotel room, and then we drove by campus for a few pics.



    After messing around on campus for 20 minutes, they dropped us off at our hotel (The Centennial). This hotel was phenomenal. After dumping our stuff in the room, we walked 150 yards to the new basketball courts at the Riverfront park. My goodness...this park was HOPPING. Over the course of our trip (4 nights), we walked to the courts EVERY night and watched a little basketball. At one point, I looked and saw that games were STILL going at 1am. I asked someone about this, and they said there will be 2 full court games going, 5 on 5, until usually 2am. That's incredible. You can tell that people love their basketball in Spokane!! I actually hopped in and played one evening. I figured on playing 1 or 2 games, but my team WON. And kept winning... And you can't bail on your team, so I stayed until we lost...which didn't happen! Hah! We played 8 games in a row, winning every one. Finally, 2 guys on my team had to leave, so I quit. We played just over 2 hours, and it was incredible. What a blast.




    And here's a pic of Kaleb and I's main mode of transportation to and from campus every day for camp. He LOVED this.

    Last edited by gozagswoohoo; 08-10-2021 at 10:11 AM.
    Allow myself to introduce....myself...

  3. #3
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    This is all great stuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
    Go Zags!!!

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    We woke up early for camp on Thursday. Kaleb wanted to have plenty of time to shoot around, so we got there 45 minutes early. I was pleasantly surprised to see GBJ there running the show for camp. He did a great job. On day 1, they started out in basically 4 groups of 7-8. Kaleb's 'coach' day 1 was Evan Inglesby, and he was great with the kids. Kaleb really liked Evan. During breaks and stuff, Evan was dunking and even catching some oops. It blows my mind, watching some of our bench players...just unbelievable talent and athleticism. His shot looked pure and perfect.

    Anyway, day 1 they worked stations and had a station for shooting, dribbling (Chet worked this one, which I thought was hilarious. We have a 7 footer who can dribble like a PG!), defense, and passing.

    They had a quick break for lunch, and then came back and did a few more drills, followed by some 3 on 2 drills, and then 5 on 5. The kids LOOOOOVED playing 5 on 5 full court.

    You'll see a lot of drill work and 5 on 5 clips in my highlight video I made.


    After camp, I met up with Section116 (and wife), and Spike#1 (and wife) for dinner. We tried Jack & Dan's, but their family room was booked for a post-funeral group. I was disappointed we couldn't get in there, but not much we could do about it. While we were there chatting about where to go next, I got a chance to meet GonzaGAW. He stopped in to say hi. I appreciated that he took the time to stop by! Nice to meet you!!

    We decided to move the dinner to Caruso's. Kaleb and I, Mr. and Mrs. Section116, and Mr. and Mrs. Spike#1 had a great dinner. Conversation was fun and easy. Before departing, Spike#1 gave Kaleb a sweet new Gonzaga drawstring bag (which Kaleb LOVED and took to camp the following day), and he also gave me a box FILLED with zags posters/signs and newspaper stuff. Kaleb and I had a blast looking through these at the hotel afterwards. It was very thoughtful of Spike to give these to me. I appreciated every bit of it, and it will be put to good use!
    Allow myself to introduce....myself...

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    This is a pic of Kaleb, starting day 2 of camp, sporting his new bag (courtesy of Spike#1).



    I have to mention, Kaleb was recognized on day 2 of camp (they gave out 2 awards at the end of camp Wednesday and Thursday) for his 'hustle'. Is it bad to say when GBJ called his name for this, I bout shed some tears!?!?! I was so proud of him.



    Back to day 2. After I left Kaleb at the MAC, Gonezagaga picked me up and took me to play a round of golf at Downriver. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL COURSE!!! I love to play golf. There's really only one issue though. I am terrible at golf. HA HA. Combine THAT with Washington having a million pine trees, and...you can imagine how that went. Hilariously, I got a par on the very first hole. Was this an omen for things to come? No. No it was not.



    It's actually pretty comical, because it seems that something hilarious may always happen to me while playing golf in Spokane. Thinking back to my FIRST trip to Spokane in 2010- I hit my very first drive on hole #1 on that trip, and the head of my driver goes FLYING 40 yards (while my ball when about 20). Photo of that is below.




    Fast-forward 11 years to my current round there in Spokane. We're on hole 13 or so, and I'm attempting to hit out of a heavily wooded area (this was a common theme all day. I began to think I was being pranked and that there was a magnet in my ball, pulling me towards a tree). I hit out of the woods, and smack a tree, and the ball comes FLYING back towards my newfound lurker friend, Ryan, who is family of Gonezagaga. By the way, Ryan is long-time lurker, who has no forum handle. I checked to see if the handle 'ZagFootballCoach' was taken, it is not. Ryan, you need to secure that name and start posting! I know you have things to add to this forum! Anyway, the ball hits a tree and comes flying back at ZagFootballCoach. He literally has to dodge my ball, and it bounces under his cart. After we all got some good chuckles, he pulls his cart forward so I can hit my ball. THE BALL WAS GONE. We all laughed again, and start looking around to see where it rolled. We could not find it! We were dumb-founded, as ZFC said he KNEW it went under the cart. He decided to lay on the ground and look under the cart one last time....and would you believe....






    HAHA. What are the odds?!?!? ONLY WOOHOO IN SPOKANE could do that!

    I thought this trick should have earned me a few strokes off the round, as it was quite a neat trick. The rest of the golf party disagreed, and after some debate as to whether or not the 'play it as it lies' rule applied here, they graciously allowed me to have a drop, and I hit my ball. I believe I scored an impressive '8' on this hole.
    Allow myself to introduce....myself...

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    Here are a few random pics of Kaleb and I having fun in/around the hotel, Riverfront park, and Spokane. You guys are so lucky. What a gorgeous and incredible town. I KNOW there are some bad apples in every town, but I never ran in to any in Spokane. Everyone was having fun, and everyone was pleasant and fun to talk to. I met some great people around the park. I only wish we had more time to look around, because I am thinking we only saw 3% of downtown.







    Allow myself to introduce....myself...

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    One quick funny story- After camp that day, Kaleb said his legs/knees were bothering him quite a bit. I decided to look for somewhere to obtain some children's Ibuprofen. The closest place I found was a Walgreens, roughly 2 miles away. It was 8:47pm, and they closed at 9:00pm. A smart person would have taken an Uber, but I figured I would save $3 or so and take a scooter.

    1.4 miles later....MY SCOOTER DIES. haha. There were no new scooters around, and it was 8:56pm!!! I still had about a half mile left!!! So here I am, almost 9pm in Spokane, and I am feverishly pushing my scooter down the street like a moron. I'm drenched in sweat, looking like I'm on the last leg of some sort of scooter race. I walk in to Walgreens at 8:59pm, and grab the medicine. I go outside to get on a NEW scooter (there were 3-4 sitting outside Walgreens), and I look down to see that my PHONE IS AT 2%.

    This is important because your phone is required to operate the scooters!! I hurry and hop on the scooter and start going. My phone DIES with about a half mile left, and my scooter shuts off.


    When I FINALLY get back to the hotel, Kaleb said he was starting to get worried because it was taking me so long. Ah....yes...the trials and tribulations of Woohoo in Spokane! haha
    Allow myself to introduce....myself...

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    Also, I have to mention this young man in the photo with Kaleb. I know he is very well-known around the program. Can someone tell me his name? He was incredible. He was one of the more vocal people at the camp, always yelling and cheering for kids. Kaleb loved him. I snapped this pic at one point, because Kaleb had actually gotten upset after one particularly bad 'stretch' that he thought he'd had. He was fouled pretty hard, hard enough that he'd actually cried briefly (which he doesn't do...he is really tough). After that foul, he got blocked really hard twice in a row, in one play, by a really tall camper. THEN, he had a turnover. In Kaleb's eyes, this is all really bad. He can be pretty tough on himself. So, the camp goes to a quick break, and this staffer sees that Kaleb is upset. He starts chatting with him, and Kaleb later told me "That guy should be a motivational speaker. He told me that he's even seen DREW TIMME have a bad practice or mess up, but then Timme gets out there and works even harder, and NOW look at him. He is a start and one of the most dominant players". He gave Kaleb a 5 minute pep talk, and it meant a lot to Kaleb (and meant even more to me). Anyway, I wish I would have found an opportunity to thank him for being so awesome all week.

    Allow myself to introduce....myself...

  9. #9
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    Also, I have to mention this young man in the photo with Kaleb. I know he is very well-known around the program. Can someone tell me his name? He was incredible. He was one of the more vocal people at the camp, always yelling and cheering for kids. Kaleb loved him. I snapped this pic at one point, because Kaleb had actually gotten upset after one particularly bad 'stretch' that he thought he'd had. He was fouled pretty hard, hard enough that he'd actually cried briefly (which he doesn't do...he is really tough). After that foul, he got blocked really hard twice in a row, in one play, by a really tall camper. THEN, he had a turnover. In Kaleb's eyes, this is all really bad. He can be pretty tough on himself. So, the camp goes to a quick break, and this staffer sees that Kaleb is upset. He starts chatting with him, and Kaleb later told me "That guy should be a motivational speaker. He told me that he's even seen DREW TIMME have a bad practice or mess up, but then Timme gets out there and works even harder, and NOW look at him. He is a start and one of the most dominant players". He gave Kaleb a 5 minute pep talk, and it meant a lot to Kaleb (and meant even more to me). Anyway, I wish I would have found an opportunity to thank him for being so awesome all week.

    Allow myself to introduce....myself...

  10. #10
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    WhoohooJr will now be an all American Mega star with the zags after that Pep talk. Can see it now. You better allow me to get his autograph some day LOL
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    Our last night in town, GhostZag and her husband picked us up at the hotel. They drove us to CDA and we got to see their incredibly beautiful homestead, and then took us out on their beautiful boat. (This was only Kaleb's 2nd time on a boat. Don't judge me!) He was on cloud 9. He even got to DRIVE it!! He has been telling everyone about that part ever since we got home.

    They spent over an hour just driving us up and down the river, pointing out some meaningful homes and places on the banks. What a gorgeous evening. It was amazing.









    We finished the evening off with the best steak I've ever eaten. It was at a floating restaurant called Cedars. It was amazing to finally get to spend some time chatting with Ghostzag and her husband (and finally seeing their home...which we've been talking about trying to do for YEARS). Oh, and I also stole their dog. Bout the cutest thing I've seen in my life. Anyway...





    After dinner, Mr. GhostZag drove us all the way back to the hotel. What an amazing gesture, for them to spend so much of their time on us. I appreciated it more than I can say.
    Allow myself to introduce....myself...

  12. #12
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    The last day of camp was bitter sweet. Kaleb got a ton of autographs (the amazing Go Zags sign he got signed was courtesy of Spike#1. Thank you again!!).










    When we saw Chet after camp, he was actually walking away with an assistant. They were both waving to everyone, saying 'sorry' but that he had to go to a workout and had to stop sigs/pics. I said "Chet, please, one more! We came all the way from Missouri!". He smiled and graciously walked back and said "Missouri, wow. Okay, you got it". Kaleb appreciated that gesture very much.
    Allow myself to introduce....myself...

  13. #13
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    A few random notes about players and camp-

    - Kaleb got to interact with almost every zags player at some point throughout camp. I asked who his favorite was. He said 'either Hunter Sallis, Anton Watson, or Kaden Perry'. He said he watched Hunter and said "He is really, REALLY good".
    - I think it's interesting to note that some of the posters on this forum give Watson a hard time because he often looks pretty unemotional on the court. Kaleb and I both noted that Watson was the OPPOSITE during camp. He would get REALLY hyped for the campers. Huge smile, and lots of cheering. As posters on this forum, we only see a very small part of Watson during games. Something tells me we may be misjudging him when we say he needs to show more emotion, or that he looks bored (I've heard that said before). Anyway, Kaleb loved Watson.
    - Kaden Perry....this guy....I love him! If you recall, he has had MAJOR back issues. During breaks of camp, he would throw down a few EFFORTLESS dunks, which was encouraging. He also hopped in a relay race the campers had, and dunked a couple times. You want to know who these dunks reminded me of....? BRANDON CLARKE. Literally, the way he jumps and dunks looks just like him. Also, as you'll see during my highlight reel, he got HYPED during scrimmages. He was HILARIOUS. He was jumping and yelling and clapping after every point. I hope he can stay healthy because he will be a BLAST to watch in a zags uni. During the autograph session, I actually asked him how his back was feeling. I am paraphrasing, but he said "Ah, yeah, it's getting there. Still trying to get back to 100%". So...it sounds like he is still dealing with it some, but definitely encouraging that he was throwing down during camp!!
    Allow myself to introduce....myself...

  14. #14
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    Experience of a lifetime. So, SO thankful.

    Allow myself to introduce....myself...

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    Here is a little highlight reel I put together of some of Kaleb at camp. I didn't get much video of day 2, but he had some pretty nice plays for the 1 and a half days I recorded. Make sure your sound is on, and make sure you click to watch in 1080p, otherwise it might be pretty grainy.

    Allow myself to introduce....myself...

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    Also, just because I am happy to report a HAPPY ending-

    Kaleb and I got a call while we were in Spokane. Our beloved 6 year old Golden Retriever was hit by a car (who was texting and driving!!!) while we were in Spokane. Kaleb was very upset, and very worried, for his best friend. But, after spending a couple nights in the ER vet, Shadow got home 15 minutes after we did!!! He is getting a lot of extra love the last day or two!



    Allow myself to introduce....myself...

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    This was awesome and it looks you two had a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing, Wooohoo.

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    Fascinating reading and it brought a smile to my face.

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    Wonderful story. Thanks so much for sharing it.
    Who taught Kaleb how to dribble, drive and hit that 3 point shot? Do they REALLY have good coaches in Missouri? LOL

    I am sorry I missed meeting with you guys. That would have been great.

    Our Golden (10 years old) decided to leave the yard on Thursday...but my wife saw and caught him. Friday, she was not so lucky. I think that, since I take him for a long walk every morning, he was taking his walk. A stranger saw him and picked him up. She and my wife were able to connect, THE NEXT DAY. He too is home, but he gets put on a rope when he goes out. Silly boy!
    I'm laughing. Why aren't you?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by willandi View Post
    Wonderful story. Thanks so much for sharing it.
    Who taught Kaleb how to dribble, drive and hit that 3 point shot? Do they REALLY have good coaches in Missouri? LOL
    HAHAHA. I used to be a decent PG back in the day! I've actually been putting Kaleb through some intense dribbling drills since he was about 3. He's got some handles!

    PS- Glad to hear your Golden was picked up! I DREAD the day something happens to Shadow.
    Allow myself to introduce....myself...

  21. #21
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    Great report, thanks for posting. Very special memories you and your son will have forever.

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    Awesome stuff woohoo... so glad Kaleb got a chance to experience that.
    "And Morrison? He did what All-Americans do. He shot daggers in the daylight and stole a win." - Steve Kelley (Seattle Times)

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    we all love your travelogue reports, they are always uplifting.

    - glad to have met you and kaleb, however briefly.

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    Very cool
    Probably the only Gonzaga fan in Ireland!

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    Money well spent. Memories are so much more valuable than things.

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