Community celebrates ‘Cats basketball success

Chico locals, students and faculty have shown their gratitude for the men’s basketball team having the best season in Chico State history.

Tray Robinson, director of university diversity programs, has been watching Chico State basketball since 1989, he said. Robinson has worked with this season’s team on diversity training and knew this team was going to be memorable.

“The bar is raised now and this was a very special team to witness,” Robinson said.

Charles Turner, chair of the political science department, has been a season ticket holder for years. The best thing about working a hard day at school is going across to Acker Gym to watch great basketball games, he said.

“The campus is really proud,” Turner said. “Recently, in a meeting, President Paul Zingg used this story for inspiration on how great of a college we can be.”

The success of the men’s basketball team has created a buzz throughout Chico. This is the first time in 99 years of Chico State men’s basketball history that the team reached the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight. Its 25 wins match the most in the program’s history.

Watching the men’s basketball team has been entertaining, said Don Hinton, a Chico resident and season ticket holder.

“Not only do Greg and Brian and their staff have great recruiting techniques, they are great at coaching,” Hinton said. ” Buying a season ticket is a no-brainer and the best entertainment value in Chico, bar none.”

Chico State has earned bragging rights from the West Region title and for reaching the Elite Eight. Students have also come to appreciate the success of the team.

“Even though I don’t play, I feel honored for my fellow classmates Amir Carraway and Mike Rosario, who I grew up with,” said Garrett Rawlings, a senior criminal justice major.

The community has embraced this year’s team and shows respect to the hard-working student athletes who will always be role models in the community.

“The small town, intimate feeling about our campus is a blessing and things like this show how united we are as a university,” Robinson said.

Ben Marquez can be reached at [email protected] or @bmarq2424 on Twitter.