SPOKANE, Wash. – Jim McPhee was a standout at Gonzaga in the late 1980’s and is still second on the school’s all-time scoring list.
McPhee actually scored more career points than Adam Morrison. He did that at the old Kennel. He would later return to GU, but that time to go to law school. McPhee is now a full time lawyer, and still a full time Zag.
"It's still kind of hard to sink in. Seeing the guys at the final four and everything," said McPhee.
Jim McPhee was watching the Zags play last Saturday where he usually catches road games, at home with his family. Gonzaga on national TV is a big change from the years of 1986 to 1990 when McPhee was a player.
"Whether I saw 19 straight NCAA appearances and them being in the Final Four, I don't know that anybody did. But we didn't necessarily place any limitations on ourselves," said McPhee.
McPhee appeared to be limitless during his time at Gonzaga while playing for legendary coach Dan Fitzgerald. It was Jim's older brother Bryce, also a talented hoopster and a teammate of "Johnny" Stockton, who inspired Jim to achieve success.
During his career, McPhee racked up a monster 2,015 points. Today, that's still second on the GU record books behind the great Frank Burgess. McPhee's pursuits after college wouldn't lead him to the NBA, but rather to Spokane and a career as a lawyer.
"They're different animals today than they were back then. The one nice thing is there is a common thread of: they're good guys," said McPhee.
It is that "good guy" notion that McPhee is the most impressed with. He credits the late coach Fitz with starting that trend. A season like this has certainly been great and then some.
"It's really difficult. It starts early and there's so much hard work that goes in to it," said McPhee.
McPhee knows what it takes to excel at the college level. What it's like to win a national championship? Of course, no Zag, fan or player, knows that. It's the fan in McPhee that will likely be taking over this weekend.
"Be with the family. Watching it with Dana and the kids. It will be great," said McPhee.