Until Wednesday evening, Gonzaga basketball fan Liam Racht, 11, had only seen the team’s players on TV or “from really far away,” he said.
So when he sat down a few yards away from two new Gonzaga players – Texas A&M-transfer Admon Gilder and incoming freshman Drew Timme – to hear them read books at the Spokane Public Library’s South Hill branch, it was “cool,” Racht said.
“I got to see the players up close,” Rach said. “I’ve always looked up to Gonzaga players. I’m a pretty big fan. I watch all their March Madness games.”
Racht was one of about 20 children who turned out with their parents for the library’s weekly Family Storytime event.
Gilder read a book called “Brendan and Belinda and the Slam Dunk!” and also gave some advice to the children who dream of becoming college athletes: “Whatever you do, give it your best,” he said, “and make sure you love it.”
Ellen Peters, the library’s community engagement manager, said the event complements the Smithsonian traveling exhibit “Hometown Teams” that is being hosted at the Spokane Public Library’s downtown branch June 22 through Aug. 3. That exhibit includes a display of John Stockton’s two Olympic gold medals.
The last time the library held a children’s book reading with Gonzaga basketball players was in 2015, when about 150 people packed the room to hear from GU players Dustin Triano, Jack Beach, Josh Perkins and Jonathan Williams.
As for Racht, he said he enjoyed the reading but admitted that “I really just wanted to see the players.”
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.