When I was a little boy growing up in the Piedmont of North Carolina, the city of Asheboro, I loved basketball. I have fond memories of playing, often times until I wasn't' sure I could make it home without collapsing. Within a short drive of my home were Duke, Carolina, NC State, and Wake Forest. I attended many ACC conference tournaments and watched more on TV. It was contagious. It was great fun and excitement.
FGCU has served as a reminder of those precious times of my youth and brought back many fond memories. These young collegiate athletes have energized Fort Myers, the region, the state, and yes, the nation; and rightfully so. Everyone loves an underdog. Georgetown was amazing, San Diego State, stunning and decisive. The stage is set, and I would much rather be the underdog. Win or lose, Florida Gulf Coast University has already established itself a huge winner. Everything from here on out is moving the record higher. This young team is legendary and will leave its mark on the University and this city forever.
For that we say thank you. Thank you for bringing back some great childhood memories, thank you for your work ethic and the example of excellence you are setting. Thank you for bringing such energy and excitement to our city, region and state. Dr. Bradshaw and his team of professionals have elevated this area of Florida beyond our imagination, and the momentum will be everlasting. All the faculty, the coaching staff, the entire FGCU family and students are to be commended for what they represent here in Fort Myers.
It's been a great week. By the time this guest commentary hits your radar I will be on my way to Arlington, Texas.
The University of Florida is legendary. Two of my three adult children have graduated from UF. My youngest, Alex is a junior at FGCU. He is going to Arlington with me. FGCU has given Fort Myers a terrific nick name - dunk city,"
What a great time for our community. I am thankful for the chance to share this time with the Eagle Nation. The State of Florida is making a statement across the entire nation.Florida Gulf Coast University, University of Florida, University of Miami, the Sweet 16. March Madness is on.
GO EAGLE NATION!
- Randall Henderson is the mayor of Fort Myers