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Wichita State honored for NIT crown

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, May 11, 2011, at 12:06 a.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, May 1, 2013, at 5:05 p.m.

TOPEKA — It was all love for the Wichita State basketball team Tuesday at the Capitol.

Gov. Sam Brownback congratulated the team for winning the National Invitation Tournament in March in New York. The Kansas Senate and House followed with accolades from the floors of their chambers.

The Shockers and coach Gregg Marshall were on hand for the recognition.

"Congratulations to Coach Gregg Marshall, his coaching staff and his players for a great season," Brownback said. "Not only were the Shockers crowned NIT champions, they also won more games than any other WSU team in history."

The team's victory over Alabama on March 31 marked WSU's first NIT title.

"Their hard work and success this season is reflective of the Kansas 'can do' spirit," Brownback said. "They started the year off strong, ran into a bit of a dry spell, and then showed the country how hard work, determination and teamwork pay off."

Going into the tournament, which ended in Madison Square Garden, the team was 24-8. The Shockers beat Nebraska, Virginia Tech, College of Charleston, Washington State and Alabama for a final record of 29-8, the winningest in school history.

Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick, read a resolution in the Senate congratulating the Shockers.

"Today we're here to celebrate a very important date" in WSU and Wichita history, she said.

Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, D-Wichita, noted that she was a cheerleader for the Shockers in the 1980s.

The House also passed a resolution recognizing the team for an "exemplary season."

Rep. Steve Brunk, R-Wichita, joked, "I'm sure there's no problem seeing you guys behind me" as he stood for a photograph with the team.

Brunk noted that there are plenty of Kansas and Kansas State fans in the House. Many legislators in both chambers have team mascots at their desks on the floor.

"Today in this body we're Shocker fans," Brunk said, drawing shouts of "Yeah baby!" and applause.

Brunk egged on the Senate, saying the House's applause was more passionate.

"The Senate did its usual thing," he said, clapping politely. "We don't do that here."

He then asked representatives to applaud the team House-style.

"Woot! Woot! Woot," House members yelled back loudly.

"Is that all you got? That all you got?" Brunk responded.

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