March 26, 2009
Northridge, Ca. - An enthusiastic crowd of more than 400 fans honored the Cal State Northridge men's basketball team during a pep rally Thursday night at The Matadome.
Numerous University dignitaries including University President Dr. Jolene Koester, Tom McCarron (Vice-President Administration and Finance) and Vance Peterson (Vice-President University Advancement), joined with other members of the University community, students, and alumni, to honor the Matador basketball team that won the Big West regular season championship for a second straight season, the Big West Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history.
"At the beginning of the season, this were all young men (the team) but by the time the season was over, they were men," said head coach Bobby Braswell, who was also acknowledged during the rally as Big West Coach of the Year for a second straight season. "I've said this before and I will say this again ... I have been blessed and honored to have had the opportunity to coach this team. They had the opportunity during the season to quit through all the adversity, but they didn't. They don't have the word `quit' in their vocabulary. That says a lot about their character."
Braswell told the crowd during the 60-minute rally, "there were not a lot of people who felt we could be beat Memphis."
"But this team believed they could do it," said Braswell. "I hope you are proud of them as I am proud of them. We didn't win the game but we won the hearts and minds of many people in the country."
Tremaine Townsend, the senior center who captured the Big West rebounding title for a second straight season, thanked the crowd and the supporters of Cal State Northridge basketball.
"Thank you for supporting the team through all the tough times," said Townsend. "We got a lot done during the season and the team wants to thank all the fans for their support during the season."
Willie Galick, who was one of the team's leading scorers and rebounders this season, also thanked Matador fans for helping the team enjoy its second straight winning season.
"I want to thank all the fans for helping put Northridge basketball on the map," said Galick, who returns for his senior season in 2009-10. "You are the best fans."
After Dr. Koester presented the Big West regular season and tournament trophy to the Matador basketball team, Braswell ended the rally by saying "the team will continue to be exciting and fun to watch next season."
"We've got a group of players who are coming back who are exciting to watch ... Kenny Daniels, Jermaine (Smith), Mark Hill, Xavier (Crawford) and down the line," said Braswell. "It's going to be another fun season next year."