As we approach the beginning of basketball season, I know you share with me the sense of anticipation for the start of the 2008 season. And, if our season ticket sales are any indication, I know you are just as excited as I am that the wait is almost over.
Last year, you demonstrated your tremendous support for the basketball programs as evidenced by our record-breaking ticket sales and the overwhelming response to our “A.D.’s Fund for Basketball Excellence.”
You have continued this support, even before this season has tipped off, as ticket sales are selling at a record pace once again.
A sold-out Beasley Coliseum serves as a “sixth man” for our basketball teams and makes the venue one of the toughest places in the nation to play at for visiting teams. Our basketball teams feed off the energy that only a capacity crowd can bring.
Notice I mentioned teams. Just as your attendance is critical to the success of the men’s basketball team, it is just as important in support of our women’s basketball team.
New women’s basketball coach June Daugherty begins her first season of leading the program in “The New Championship Era of Cougar Basketball.”
I stated at the time of June’s hiring that I believe she is the one to turn the women’s basketball program into a winner, both on and off the court.
She has a record of success as evidenced by leading Washington to nine postseason appearances in her 11 years at that University. In addition to her achievements on the court, her players did well academically and graduated; she is very well respected by high school and junior college coaches in the Pacific Northwest and West coast, and she knows the recruiting trails as well as anyone in the region.
June and her staff have been on the recruiting trails tirelessly since their arrival last spring. During the recruiting process, there are numerous factors a recruit considers when choosing a school. One of these is how much support the program receives from its fans; a gauge to determine this support is attendance at games.
Last year, the women’s basketball team averaged 503 fans a game. That was last in the Pac-10 and well behind the next to last team, Oregon State, which drew an average of 1,470 fans a contest.
Imagine how powerful a statement it will make when we are no longer behind, but among the top of our Pac-10 counterparts with regards to attendance. With your help, we can achieve this and in the process lend June a major assist in moving the program up the Pac-10 standings.
A great avenue to show your support for both programs is through a pair of doubleheaders scheduled on Nov. 9 and Dec. 9 at Beasley.
On Nov. 9, the men open the season against Eastern Washington and prior to this game, the women tip-off their season versus Portland at 4 p.m. On Dec. 9, the women host Boise State at 3 p.m. followed by the men’s game against Portland State.
I encourage you to come to Beasley to watch the women play, not only on each of these days, but for all 15 home games. For ticket information, please call the WSU Ticket Office at 1-800-GO-COUGS or visit our website at wsucougars.com.
I greatly appreciate all of the support demonstrated for all of our programs. It is this support that plays a tremendous role in the development of our athletic programs now and in the future.