The Baylor men’s basketball team landed in Waco Tuesday and was welcomed by family members and fans eager to celebrate the school’s first-ever men's basketball national championship.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I don’t know if we are ever going to get another one of these and what this team has done, what they have been through with the pandemic – got to come out and support them,” fan Bo Mellow said.
It’s been more than 70 years since the school’s men’s basketball team last played in a national championship game. Head Coach Scott Drew took over the program in 2003 and has long said his ultimate goal was to bring a national championship to Waco.
He reflected Tuesday on finally doing it and the moment he stepped off the plane holding the national championship trophy.
“Yeah it’s heavy but it was a great feeling I just wanted the fans to see what they helped us earn because without them we couldn’t have done it,” Drew said.
And for players, most of whom were on the 2020 team that lost out on a chance to compete for a national championship when the tournament was canceled due to the pandemic, this season was a unique chance at redemption.
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Guard Davion Mitchell said the fact they won it all was still sinking in.
“I still can’t even believe it, I had to wake up and think,” Mitchell said. “Nobody can take that from us and everyone is going to remember this team, all the guys and all the personalities on this team."
The schools said it was still sorting out details but planned to have a parade in days to come.
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