DENVER — With a little help from a local university’s athletic department as well as local sporting goods stores, the Grand Canyon men’s basketball team was able to hold its practice Wednesday in preparation for this week’s NCAA West regional games at Ball Arena.
The Lopes players and coaches arrived as scheduled Wednesday, but 12 bags of the team’s equipment — including practice gear, uniforms and shoes — did not on their flight from Phoenix.
Assistant athletic director Josh Hauser said Wednesday night that Regis University loaned some practice gear as well as some equipment to the team for its afternoon workout on Regis’ campus. And during practice, some basketball shoes were delivered from local stores for players to use.
Several players wore either T-shirts from the WAC championship or jerseys from Regis’ basketball team during practice.
Hauser said the team’s equipment was scheduled to arrive later Wednesday night on another flight from Phoenix.
Grand Canyon earned its NCAA trip with an 84-66 victory over Southern Utah this past Saturday in the WAC championship game. The Lopes will face Gonzaga on Friday in Ball Arena in a first-round game in the West Region.
Grand Canyon is coached by Bryce Drew, who authored one of the most memorable moments in tournament history when, as a senior at Valparaiso, in the 1998 tournament he hit a buzzer-beater from near halfcourt in a win over Ole Miss. The team was coached by Drew’s father, Homer, and his brother, current Baylor coach Scott Drew, was an assistant coach.
Baylor will also play Friday in Ball Arena.