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Zag fans use Zoom to connect with former players during pandemic

Zoom happy hours have taken the nation by storm. A group of Gonzaga fans decided to put their own spin on the idea.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Zoom calls have become a part of the fabric of our lives over the past few weeks. 

They provide opportunities to see people who live all across the world. For a few Gonzaga fans, they’ve provided an opportunity to get to know players off the court during this time.

"It started as kind of just this random joke," reflected Lissa Tripp.

Tripp and her six friends, who are all avid fans, decided that doing weekly Zoom calls during quarantine was a good idea. They didn’t realize what it would evolve into something more.

"It was thrown out there like, 'Oh, we should see who we can get as a guest star. We should do a guest star next week,'" said Tripp.

And thus the idea to bring former Gonzaga players onto their zoom chats was born.

"It’s just a super laid back environment, and we’re not trying to grill these guys on anything," said Zoom call participant Diana Berger. "It’s just a conversation. They kind of hop right in and blend right in. It’s been fun."

Jeremy Jones was the first player to join. Since then Rem Bakamus, Sam Dower, Eric McClellan, and Jonathan Williams have all been on, with Killian Tillie and Rui Hachimura making brief appearances as well.

"I was able to do it. Now, I guess other people are doing it. It’s just cool. It’s kind of uniting in a sense from a Gonzaga perspective with the fans and the players, so I think it’s pretty cool," said Jeremy Jones.

"It was good entertainment. Just what I was looking for really," said Rem Bakamus. "Got to know some new Zag fans, the faithful ones you see on Twitter and all that. Just to put a face to the tweets and stuff you see, it was fun. Anytime you can help and give back in a small way and something so simple, I’ll never turn that down."

As Bakamus said, it’s a simple thing, that has meant so much to this group during this time.

"It reiterates what I’ve always thought about the program," said Tripp. "They’re very down to earth, appreciative of the fans and the community and know what Gonzaga means to this community."

"It speaks to the quality of guys Gonzaga recruits. It speaks to the way these guys grow together," said Berger. "Everybody that we’ve talked to has talked about how they’re still in touch with a ton of people. It’s such a huge community and they’re just quality people."

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