ESPN’s Sean Farnham has a few reasons why he likes Spokane, but let’s start with the things he talks about the most when he calls Gonzaga games.
“If I go through a college basketball season and I don’t get a trip up to the Davenport or my spicy shrimp flatbread, I literally get disappointed, like I’m literally going through withdrawals,” said Sean Farnham with a laugh.
It’s obvious when listening a broadcast: there's no denying that Farnham has a special connection to Gonzaga and the city of Spokane at large.
"What endears me to Spokane and that community and this program is the energy and the passion. When you go The Kennel and the students start all the pregame stuff, it’s fantastic," he said.
The Kennel also has sentimental value to Sean.
“The first broadcast I ever had was Midnight Madness at The Kennel. The first game I called was at The Kennel. It’s where I cut my teeth at ESPN, and while the trajectory of my career has changed over the years, it still will always be a place I want to come back to and always celebrate," he said. "It’s great basketball, it’s a great community, it’s got great hotels, it’s got everything.”
Because Farnham has been in the business for so long, he also noticed what has taken this Gonzaga program to the next level.
“Back when I started nine years ago, they were recruiting to win the WCC. They were recruiting to make runs in the NCAA Tournament. Now when they go out and recruit the message isn’t about that. The message is come play for us and we’ll have a chance to win a national championship.”
Speaking of national championships, Farnham said just a few days ago on ESPN that Gonzaga is his pick to win the national championship.
"I think one of the things you think about with this Gonzaga team and why they are not just number one by ranking but actually if you’re in a confidence pool of who’s going to win a national championship, they’d be the favorite, is based on their level of efficiency you see at both ends of the floor. It’s the greatest equalizer," he said. "Per 100 possessions, how do you play? Their number one on offense and number six on defense. That’s dominating."
"Then when you look at the combination of experience. An experienced point guard that’s played for a national championship. An experienced coach who’s led this team every year to an NCAA Tournament and to a national championship in 2017. Then couple that with NBA first rounders and the best frontcourt in the country. To me that’s what stands out more than anything about this team," he continued.
Of course, there are some people who do not Farnham's opinion and he has a response for them, too.
“Nationally the questions that have been raised through out the course of this season, and I continue to hear them…‘Well, in WCC play who have they played? They haven’t played a meaningful game since North Carolina.’ Okay, we’ll see next week," he said.