Smiles all around as Gonzaga honors Dan Dickau with jersey recognition ceremony
Feb. 9, 2023 Updated Fri., Feb. 10, 2023 at 10:29 p.m.
Zags great Dan Dickau acknowledges the crowd as his No. 21 is honored before Thursday’s game at McCarthey Athletic Center. (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
When the black cover dropped to reveal Dan Dickau’s No. 21 illuminated on the north wall of the McCarthey Athletic Center on Thursday, one of best shooters in Gonzaga history peeked at his seven kids and wife Heather.
Dickau liked what he saw because they liked what they were seeing.
“My sons were standing to the right of me,” Dickau said. “I kind of glanced over and looked at them and they were smiling pretty hard. One of my boys is 17, and it’s kind of hard to impress a 17-year-old son at times. My other son loves the game of basketball so he watches stuff all the time.
“It was cool to see the smiles they had as well as my daughters and my wife.”
Dickau’s number joined Frank Burgess (44), John Stockton (12), Adam Morrison (3) and Kelly Olynyk (13) on display at the Kennel during a jersey recognition ceremony minutes before the Gonzaga-San Francisco game. GU women’s star Courtney Vandersloot’s No. 21 will be honored on Saturday.
Dickau put up prolific numbers in two seasons as a Zag after transferring from Washington. He was Gonzaga’s first first-team Associated Press All-American. He holds the single-season 3-point mark (117) and shares the single-game record with nine 3s in a game. Dickau did it twice roughly a month apart in the 2002 season.
He is one of 12 Zags to average at least 20 points in a season. His 23.5-point scoring average in four NCAA games is first in program history. He made 46.5% of his 3-point attempts at Gonzaga. He also was an Academic All-American.
“Dan, this is a long time coming and so well deserved,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few told the crowd. “You and that squad kept the Zags from being a one-hit wonder in 1999 and 2000 and kept us in the national limelight.”
San Francisco assistant coach Kyle Bankhead, Dickau’s former GU teammate and roommate, sat by himself on the Dons’ bench to watch the ceremony.
“I redshirted with Dan, spent a lot of time with him,” Bankhead said. “The days I remember, we had to play 1-on-1 when we were doing redshirt workouts. I had really zero chance of beating him. He would pick and chose how he wanted to score on me every possession.
“My other memory was against Pepperdine in a championship game. Dan and Blake (Stepp) combined for all but two points, or something crazy like that, in the second half. Incredible player and teammate. I’m lucky to be here for this (ceremony).”
Former Zags center Richard Fox was another of Dickau’s roommates at GU. Fox and Bankhead were in Dickau’s wedding “which is indicative of how close we were,” Fox said.
“Kyle, Dan and I bonded immediately,” said Fox, who teams with Dickau as analysts on local and regional Gonzaga television broadcasts. “Seeing how dedicated Dan was to maximizing his abilities was instrumental in shaping my own GU experience. I learned a lot about work ethic, competitiveness and perseverance at Gonzaga. Dan demonstrated all of those characteristics as well as anyone I’ve seen come through the program.”
Dickau had a lengthy thank-you list, including his family, coaches, teammates, athletic department staff, alumni, Kennel Club, boosters and Stockton, who phoned Dickau earlier Thursday to offer his congratulations.
“I remember playing in the old gym,” Dickau said of the Martin Centre, the Zags’ home court before the McCarthey Athletic Center opened in 2004. “To see where the program went from then to now is amazing. I am grateful and thankful just to be a small piece of the history and tradition of this Gonzaga basketball program.”
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