ESPN analyst Sean Farnham was at Gonzaga on Monday night to call the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon featuring GU’s 9 p.m. matchup against San Diego State, but the former UCLA player made sure to get in on the student action.
Before the game, Farnham took selfies with students in GU’s Tent City and made sure to get up in the student section right before tipoff to stomp on the stands and dance in the sea of red and blue.
“I love Spokane,” Farnham said.
Even Farnham’s partner for the night, ESPN announcer Eric Rothman, got in on the GU experience.
“I think (Gonzaga) is great. We were out at Tent City earlier,” Rothman said. “It’s crazy, I’ve never seen anything like that.”
This was Rothman’s first time in Spokane, but Farnham is plenty familiar with the GU campus. He has been coming to Spokane for years, calling Gonzaga’s basketball games as a color commentator for the annual Tip-Off Marathons.
“Part of me always misses (Spokane) because this is kind of where I really grinded out my teeth for ESPN. And the fans in this community in particular have a really good soft spot in my heart,” he said.
The first time Farnham called a game in the Kennel for ESPN was the last time the Zags faced then-No. 25 San Diego State for the third-annual ESPN Tip-Off Marathon in November 2010. GU sat on the AP Top 25 list at No. 11 and was stunned with a 79-76 loss to the Aztecs. It was only the fifth time the Zags had lost at home since McCarthy Athletic Center opened in 2004.
“Looking back it was a huge win for San Diego State, it put their program on the map, that’s what Gonzaga does, because Gonzaga’s kind of the benchmark on the West region of the United States.”
And that’s why, Farnham said, Gonzaga consistently earns a spot in this marathon. Monday night’s 69-48 victory over the Aztecs marked the seventh time GU has played in the marathon. The Zags have now won the last five of those contests.
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