Gonzaga head coach Mark Few high-fives fans during a homecoming welcome for the Gonzaga basketball team on Tuesday at McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
The plane ride from Phoenix to Spokane was quiet. Some slept. Others read. Many of the players wore headphones, listening to music they may or may not have actually been hearing.
But as soon as the chartered jet carrying the Gonzaga basketball team landed in Spokane, that uneasy, anxious feeling – a mixture of exhaustion and sadness, really – began to change a little.
First, it was noticing the oversized signs at the airport welcoming them home – signs telling them, literally, how proud their hometown was of them. These were signs large enough the players could easily see them from inside the plane’s cabin.
A few of the Bulldogs began to take pictures on their cellphones.
Then there were the people waiting for them at the airport. More here by Editor Rob Curley/SR.