The Future of “Dunk City”

Dunk CityBy Louis Hokayem

I want to take this opportunity to personally thank Florida Gulf Coast for bringing life back to the NCAA Tourney. Partly because my bracket was screwed after the first round of games but mostly because of the hardworking, ally-ooping, unconventional style of ball that they displayed on the hardwood. While there hopes for championship hardware came to an abrupt end, I think that its safe to say that Dunk City will continue to inspire college basketball teams and church leaguers such as myself for years to come – or at least for a few more months.

So what exactly does the future have in store for the Eagles? Just like many of my peers, I was devastated to hear that Florida Gulf Coast head coach Andy Enfield had decided to pack his backs and take the head-coaching job in Southern California. I was hoping that for once in my lifetime a ball coach would stick to his roots and continue to fight with the Cinderella squad that brought him his first taste of basketball stardom in the first place. This idea of team loyalty made sense to me for only a short time.

As I continued to ponder and discuss the FGC situation, I began to realize just how sweet the opportunity in California actually is for Andy Enfield and just how unattractive a future in the gulf would be. From a distance, its very easy to classify FGC’s Cinderella story in the same boat as that of VCU, Butler, or even Wichita State, but the reality of the matter is that they are about as similar as Yao Ming and Spud Webb.

They all appear to be formerly struggling basketball programs who are experiencing revival through cutting edge coaching strategies an unexpected run in the big dance. It’s easy to forget that VCU, Butler, and Wichita state are established schools with long lasting basketball programs – not to mention their strong financial support from a loyal fan base and alumni. Florida Gulf Coast on the other hand is far from established.  In fact, the program has only existed for a little over 10 years. How will a man like Andy Enfield get paid? Who will pay him? Will the eagles ever experience the big dance again? I’m sure that questions such as these and many more helped make Andy’s move from East to West a no brainer.

Dunk

While the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles are left with the daunting challenge of building a basketball brand around only a couple of big wins and some terrible team jersey’s. Andy Enfield is now faced with the challenge of selling his basketball brand of highflying dunks and fast paced ball movement to 18-year-old recruits in California. Tough sale? I think not.

As much as I hate to say it, I believe that we have already witnessed Florida Gulf Coast’s greatest days on the basketball court. As for Dunk City, lets just pray that it will continue to live on in the Golden State.

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