SPOKANE, Wash. – Spokane welcomed home the city’s newest heroes on Tuesday. The Gonzaga basketball team was greeted by hundreds of locals who could not be more proud of the small-town team that made it big.
Fans waited for the team on campus outside the McCarthey Athletic Center. GU’s plane landed around 3:40 p.m. and the team arrived at the GU campus around 4:40 p.m..
From kids to grandparents, everyone came out to support the team.
An energetic crowd welcomed the Gonzaga men’s basketball team home Tuesday afternoon.
Hundreds of fans were there to welcome the team back home after their historic season.
Monday night was not the outcome that any GU fan had hoped for, but that did not stop the GU faithful from showing up in full force.
This was not a simple welcome, more like a gargantuan, grand-sized greeting for Gonzaga’s finest. The crowd went wild.
One-by-one members of the favorite team stepped back onto campus and into a chorus of camaraderie.
“Every one of them, they’re all great. I’m gonna let my beard grow longer now,” said one fan.
“You are going to take some losses, but it’s just important for these guys to come back and see that the community is still here for them even after a really heart-fought loss,” another fan said.
Not that the ending to this joyous journey was even sad. Ask even one of the youngest fans, and you are met with smiles and steadfast support.
“This was the farthest they’ve ever gotten, the Final Four was a really big deal. The fact that they made it this far for the first time ever makes me proud,” one of GU’s youngest fans said.
In a show of the total class and sportsmanship of the team, players signed autographs for the kids. It is a moment those young Zag fanatics will not soon forget.
“It’s crazy, it was a dream come true. I almost lost air for a second.,” a fan said.
Beyond the excitement and energy, were potential big-time economic rewards for Spokane.
“You better believe it. You’ve seen it with the University and how many students they attract ow. And it really show with the five universities we have in this area,” Spokane Mayor, David Condon said.
The Zags inspired legions of fans on the court and put Spokane on the map for a lot more prosperity in the future.
“The fact that they made it that far for the first time ever just really makes me proud,” said one fan.
The Gonzaga men’s basketball team made history after securing their first trip to a National Championship.
Although the Zags came up short at the game, the team definitely won the hearts of many back home.
Watch the team arrive at GU:
Watch the plane arrive in Spokane: