Gonzaga Bulldogs: The real deals and a new breed of Bulldogs

Killian Tillie, Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga Bulldogs. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Killian Tillie, Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga Bulldogs. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Gonzaga Bulldogs
Zach Norvell Jr., Gonzaga Bulldogs. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

As the landscape of college basketball changes, the Gonzaga Bulldogs are changing with it. Can a new breed of Zags become real deals like the Bulldogs greats of the past?

How do you know when someone is the real deal? For me, I can spot an honest to goodness college basketball fan whenever I’m stopped by a stranger. Maybe it’s my Gonzaga Bulldogs shirt, jacket, lanyard, license plate holder, phone cover, or lunch bag, that catches people’s attention and possesses them to say, “Gonzaga. That’s a great basketball school.”

But the real deal is someone who can actually talk the Zags. That is my husband. We were just friends at the time when he fell to his knees in my driveway at the site of my Gonzaga Alumni license plate holder.

In Texas, unless you are a follower of NCAA basketball, you would dismiss the small college name, never seen or heard it before. Moreover, likely to mispronounce it, Gon-zAH-ga. As my new friend pronounced it wrong, I quickly corrected the pronunciation ready to dismiss him as a fellow basketball follower, but not the real deal.

After a quick argument of who says it right (ESPN or me) the history of players with their stats started spewing from his lips. John Stockton, Adam Morrison, Kelly Olynik. I added a quick embarrassing anecdote from when I met Ronny Turiaf on the GU campus and he rapidly added Turiaf’s college career stats! This guy could talk Zags with me. What guy, born and raised in El Paso, TX would know such things about Gonzaga? He was the real deal.