Like most people who read this website my phone immediately started to blow up with “congratulations” texts late Monday night. Some of these people I hadn’t heard from in years. In case you’re wondering—I didn’t play or coach in the National Championship game. But even though my basketball playing days ended in a playoff game in a small west Texas town off I-20, myself and all of the Baylor family did contribute to the ascension of this Baylor basketball program. Obviously, not as much as the players or coaches but enough to get some recognition. One of my favorite moments from Monday night was when coach Scott Drew thanked the fans on national TV. He has always been great about that, but to hear him say it only minutes after winning a national title made me swell up with pride.
Fortunately, our coach has always realized the importance of fan support. Because it’s college basketball and it matters. Creating a hostile environment that can rattle or overwhelm an opponent matters. Being loud enough to give your team an energy boost down the stretch matters. And showing potential recruits that Baylor can be a fun place to play matters as well.
Baylor family—we did our part. Not just this year but during the whole 18 year rebuild. Maybe not always perfectly but we did it. In a sense going through the hard times of the program made this national championship more enjoyable. I remember being there for the literal last days of the previous regime. It was the summer of 2003 and I was participating in Baylor’s basketball camp. To go from that rock bottom to a national championship is still surreal to me. And it feels like vindication for all of us who never abandoned the program. Thankfully, I don’t have that many other hobbies. Because I don’t regret any of the time, money, or energy that I invested into this program.