Retired bulldogs send positive energy and support to Indianapolis
SPOKANE, Wash. — Former Zags players have been keeping up with the team’s undefeated season and cheering on them on with high hopes in sight for tonight.
“This year has just been amazing. To see every game they’ve played, only one game they haven’t won in double digits,” said Winston Brooks, who played from 2001-2003. “They’ve shown their dominance all year.”
“They’re such great ambassadors. They play such a wonderful style of basketball that it’s almost bittersweet that it has to come to an end,” said Matt Santangelo who played from 1997-2000.
Both Brooks and Santangelo call Spokane home now. Brooks is an Officer with the Spokane Police Department, and Santangelo is the executive director of Hoopfest. They say this team has brought Spokane together in a way only sports can do.
“It’s been such a wonderful gift to get us through the winter, not just this NCAA tournament run but this whole season,” Santangelo said. “To have something to look forward to, to have positive things happening on our social media timelines and everything else has really been a gift to start to get us out of a really tough time.”
“This community is going to be crazy,” Brooks said. “Everyone wants those guys to win it, and everyone that lives here in Spokane wants to say that our Zags brought the national trophy to Spokane.”
Both retired Bulldogs plan to have watch parties tonight with friends and family. Brooks says no one will be allowed in front of the TV screen, and he’s going to be front and center for the game. Santangelo plans to keep tradition alive. Since March Madness started, he’s watched all the games in his downtown office. Today, he says he’s even wearing the same clothes from Saturday to control what elements he’s able to. Both players don’t want to mess up the chemistry and are sending nothing but positive vibes to Indianapolis.
“If things go the way we want them to go, and I don’t want to say anything that’s going to mess up the chemistry or whatever, but Spokane’s going to have an awesome celebration for them,” Brooks said.
“I challenge all of you out in Zag Nation to go do your job,” Santangelo said. “We all have a job to do, and that’s to do exactly everything we need to do to make sure we are sending the right vibes to Indianapolis, so Gonzaga can be successful.”
Both players can’t wait to see the team when they get home and congratulate them on an incredible season chasing history.
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