The Dunk City boys win ESPY for ‘Best Upset’
The little school that could, Florida Gulf Coast University, proved July 17 that the world’s love affair with Dunk City is still alive and well.
For weeks, votes poured in to determine the winners of the ESPYs, ESPN’s annual viewer’s choice awards, held in Los Angeles, Calif. FGCU was among three other competitive nominees for the ‘Best Upset’ category.
And Wednesday night the FGCU Eagles were anything but upset.
Around 11 p.m. the ESPY for best upset was presented to the FGCU men’s basketball team for its defeat of number two-seed, Georgetown University. Sherwood Brown, Brett Comer, Eric McKnight, Bernard Thompson, Eddie Murray and Chase Fieler along side director of basketball operations Joey Cantons and former FGCU coach Andy Enfield took to the stage to accept the award.
“We’re so appreciative of the support and the recognition that the nation gave these young men as they did something that no other team ever did in the NCAA tournament by going to the Sweet 16,” Enfield said. “The thing that impressed me most as a coach with these players was the level of preparation and their confidence. They expected to win those games and that’s what upsets are all about; teams preparing for their moment and they seized their moment.”
Fans erupted with cheers and celebrations at local bars in Fort Myers as the team accepted the award. Dunk City spirit radiated throughout Southwest Florida.
While the summer students still in Fort Myers celebrated on the town, FGCU President Wilson Bradshaw and wife JoAnne watched the broadcast from their living room.
Today, Bradshaw is filled with pride as the congratulatory emails file in from around the country.
“I couldn’t have predicted this at all,” Bradshaw said. “I don’t think anyone could have predicted something like this would happen here. There’s been a lot of hard work by some very dedicated people but I don’t think anyone could have predicted eight years ago that we would be where we are now.”
For the Dunk City president the victory is both a point of personal pride, as well as a precious chance to watch his university take its place in history.
“I’m welling with pride with the success of the athletics program,” Bradshaw said. “For the University, there’s no doubt in my mind that the world knows who FGCU is now and that kind of recognition is something you can’t buy with marketing and branding initiatives.”
After their stunning upset over two-seed Georgetown in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the FGCU men’s basketball team has won the ESPY for best upset.
FGCU beat out Baylor losing to Louisville in NCAA women’s basketball, Texas A&M defeating Alabama in NCAA football, and Marquez over Pacquaio in boxing.
This is the first ESPY in the school’s history and is arguably one of the biggest accolades the school has earned.
Sherwood Brown, Brett Comer, Eric McKnight, Bernard Thompson, Eddie Murray, and Chase Fieler, along side former FGCU men”s basketball head coach Andy Enfield accepted the award at the ESPYs in Los Angeles, Calif. Wednesday night.