Spokane businesses take time out from work to cheer on Gonzaga

Spokane businesses take time out from work to cheer on Gonzaga

Gonzaga fans didn’t let a morning tip off stop them from cheering on the Bulldogs, even if it meant watching the game from the office.

There was a lot to smile about at Liberty Park Family Dentistry and Van Gemert Orthodontics. The office was decked out with red and blue decorations and every screen had the Gonzaga game playing.

Carrieann Kelp works as a treatment coordinator at the Perry Street business and knew she couldn’t get through the morning without checking in on the Zags.

“Doctor [Van Gamert] and I actually went shopping the other day and went to five different stores to find swag for the office,” Kep said.

So, both patients and staff got to cheer on the Bulldogs. Sheryl Rushman was excited to see her team on the screen while she got her teeth worked on.

“I just love basketball and it’s fun to have a team in your own city that is so good,” Rushman said.

Meantime, folks at the Spokane Hoopfest office downtown had an open house and watch party, complete with a bulldog named Zeus. Former Gonzaga basketball star and Spokane Hoopfest Executive Director Matt Santangelo said March is a very special month for him.

“In 1999, we kind of kicked off this 20 year run, our group, going to the Elite Eight. I came back as a senior and went to the Sweet 16,” Santangelo said.

Now, Santangelo is cheering on the team he used to play for while he remembers much fun it was to compete at the tournament.

“The lights are so bright, you know. The stage is so big and, you know, we look at these guys as men, but they’re just kids, you know. They’re still young so they go out there and really, the eyes of the world are on them and it’s that win or go home. It’s that sense of urgency…that makes this tournament so great,” Santangelo said.

Luckily, most fans won’t have to worry about working through Gonzaga’s next game. It’s scheduled for Saturday against Ohio State.