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Dunk City will forever change FGCU’s history

Dunk City will forever change FGCU’s history
FGCU's Sherwood Brown celebrates with teammates after their 81-71 win over San Diego State in a third-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament, Sunday, March 24, 2013, in Philadelphia. Florida Gulf Coast became the first No. 15 seed to make the Sweet 16. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

First, FGCU made its national debut at the NCAA tournament.  Then, our men were only the seventh 15-seed to ever win the first round.  And then, the lowest-seeded team to ever make it to the Sweet 16.

How does making history change a university?

Sitting here in the FGCU library and pondering the events that just occurred, I let reality set in.  Not only has our University made its national debut, it has permanently solidified itself as an American icon.

Why?

The greatest underdog in sports has established itself as one of the top 16 collegiate basketball teams in the nation.

First tab on Yahoo.com, front page of the New York Times and tweeted by Little Wayne.  Type Florida into Google, and we’re on the first page of news.  The FGCU Dunk City YouTube video has nearly half a million views since Saturday.

What does all this attention mean?

“It means good exposure for our school,” said Sherwood Brown, leading point scorer for the Eagles.  “It will definitely increase our admissions.”

No doubt there. The impact is immediate and swift.

“Before the tournament my daughter thought FGCU was a local community college,” said the father of accepted high school senior Lauren Smith.  “Lauren got accepted to three schools in California and one in Boston.  But this here could very well be the decision maker.  She’s already wearing her new FGCU hoodie,” he said.

The admissions department isn’t the only one looking forward to increased interest.

“The national attention is wonderful, but the attention we are getting throughout the state could have a real impact as the state legislature works on the details of next year’s budget,” said political science professor Joseph Ross.

“Florida contains several of the largest universities in the country, so it can be difficult for smaller schools like FGCU to stand out.  Getting this kind of exposure in the middle of a legislative session reminds state legislators of the great work that goes on here at just the right time,” said Ross.

Gentlemen of the FGCU men’s basketball team:  We thank you for putting FGCU on the map and for changing the course of the school for good.  It is safe to say that this event is going to significantly impact the lives of thousands, if not many more in the years to come.  We are truly blessed to be students at FGCU’s coming-out party.

Soak it in. This is history.

Who are we?  Eagles.

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