SPOKANE, Wash. — Drew Timme arrived in Spokane at 9:30 pm on Thursday night for the first time since he decided to return for his senior season. By Friday afternoon, he was already out in the community hosting a kid’s clinic at Hoopfest with the rest of the Gonzaga squad.
“It’s great, man. This place is like my second home. The people here are great. I love being in college, I love being a Zag, so I couldn't ask for a better situation,” said Drew.
Timme has had quite an offseason.
He declared for the NBA Draft and performed well at the NBA Combine, but announced an hour before the deadline to withdraw from the draft that he was coming back to school for another year.
“I kind of flipped a coin, honestly. It was pretty close. I didn't mean to go to the end and be one of the last people to do it, but it just happened to be that way. I feel like I made the right choice at the end of the day. I'm happy, and this was where my heart was at,” said Drew.
Drew’s heartfelt decision helped make Gonzaga the nearly unanimous preseason #1 team in the country yet again next season.
This will be the third straight year Drew has been on a Gonzaga squad favored to win the title. At this point, he knows how to put that into perspective.
“It's a nice form of respect, for sure, but it doesn't mean anything,” said Drew. “We can speak to that firsthand. So just going out there proving it and playing like we're unranked. That's kind of just how we always approach things. It's pressure, but we've earned the right to have that pressure, so it'll be fun.”
For the second straight year, Drew will become one of the highest paid players in college basketball, or really any college sport in the country, as he’s expected to have his pick of the litter in terms of name, image and likeness deals this off season.
Once again, that’s another situation he’s been able to put in context.
“Basketball comes first, and I feel like you get what you put into the court. The better you play, the more you get, the worse you play, you don't get as much, so I don't worry about that. I just kind of do me, play basketball, and the rest will come,” said Timme.
Friday’s kids clinic was Timme’s first NIL event since his return to Spokane. It’s not all about the money though for Drew.
“It's just great to interact with people who really cheer for you, support you and care for you. Every time I see a little kid and to put a smile on his face and his parents face, it makes you fall in love what you do. It's awesome to make other people laugh and enjoy life. That's the best part about this all,” said Timme.
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