Op-ed: Thank you for supporting the men’s basketball team

Mike Lonergan is the head coach of the men’s basketball team.

Dear GW students,

I hope you are enjoying this basketball season as much as our team enjoys representing you and this University on the national stage. Our players take great pride in being members of the GW student body and wearing “George Washington” across their chests as they work tirelessly in practice and in games to give you a team of which to be proud.

We got off to a strong start this season, due in large part to the Colonial Army behind us. Please know how much your support means to the team. With you behind them, they play with monumental confidence and pride. It’s my hope that you’ve seen what I know to be true – this group of your peers is as likeable and humble as can be, but with a passion to succeed.

We have worked very hard to build a program that reflects the world class standards that you expect. A large piece of that is to play a schedule in which we can go toe-to-toe with the nation’s best teams, and the guys have been equal to the task. Since the 2013-2014 season, we have compiled an 11-4 record against teams from the ACC, Big 10, Big East, Pac 12 and SEC, and made memories that will last a lifetime when we beat #6 Virginia in a sold-out Smith Center earlier this year. Those memories were made because of you.

As one of your classmates, Patricio Garino, noted, “That’s why we came here.” We are here to represent you on an international stage, “playing big teams that are really recognized,” as Pato said. The team feeds off your energy and feels unbeatable in front of a packed home crowd.

We’ll host Penn State University on Tuesday, Dec. 8, and Rutgers on Saturday, Dec. 12. And when I say “host,” I use that word loosely.

We want these Big 10 teams to hear how loud the Smith Center is when the Colonial Army is at full throttle. We also have revenge on our mind when the Nittany Lions come D.C. on Tuesday, as they beat us in Pennsylvania last year. We want to show the Penn State fans that will invade our building on Tuesday that this is our home, our court. Your court.

Thanks for being there with us every step of the way in what is shaping up to be a truly special season. We need you now more than ever, and I’ll look forward to seeing you at the games.

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