WICHITA, Kan.—Following its shocking upset win over No. 1 ranked Gonzaga Saturday night, Wichita State University's men's basketball team returned home Sunday and found inspiration from the unlikeliest of sources.
A plane carrying Tim Tebow was refueling in Wichita at the same time the Shockers' bus arrived to pick up the Sweet 16-bound club. Tebow's camp asked Wichita State's head coach Gregg Marshall if the former Heisman Trophy winner could say a few words to the team. Soon after Tebow boarded the team bus and spoke glowingly about the Shockers' magnificent run and how it has inspired millions of people across the country.
"Some of you might go play in the NBA or you might have great lives. But this is the time you will remember," Tebow insisted. "All of you all together, ballin' out there together, training together, putting in the heart and sweat, everything, caring about each other. You'll never forget it, guys, this is what it's made of and these are the special times in your life, regardless of what you do in the future.
"So I just want to say congrats. You're an inspiration to so many people, so always remember that and how you carry yourself and your character, how you represent your school, your family, your team, your brothers on the team, but also, man, just go out there and ball out, leave nothing on the court. I know you don't need to hear that from me, but I just wish y'all luck and we're praying for you. God bless, and y'all go do it, all right, guys?"
After Tebow's pep talk, the Shockers traveled back to Koch Arena where they were greeted by thousands of adoring fans.
Wichita State battles La Salle on Thursday night in Los Angeles with an Elite Eight berth on the line.