SAN DIEGO — The San Diego State University men’s basketball team was celebrated in Snapdragon Stadium Saturday night after their historic run in the NCAA March Madness tournament.
The Stadium rolled out the red carpet for the Aztecs’ ceremony full of speeches from players, SDSU leadership and San Diego officials.
The Aztecs’ men’s basketball team have left its mark in San Diego sports history during the NCAA tournament, making it all the way to the Championship for the first time ever.
Despite losing the final game to the University of Connecticut, the team’s success in the season is something that San Diegans will not soon forget.
“I’m still in dreamland floating around … I still can’t believe this happened, that we went to the championship,” one Aztecs fan told FOX 5 as he waited for the players.
As players entered the stadium before the 7:30 p.m. ceremony, they were greeted by fans roaring with excitement. From Isaiah Bradley to Lamont Butler, the Aztecs gave out high-fives and took pictures with fans.
During the ceremony, the team was presented the key to San Diego City by Mayor Todd Gloria and was honored by County Supervisor Nora Vargas — an SDSU alumna — with the declaration of April 8 as “SDSU Men’s Basketball Day.”
Aztec fans were also able to hear from some of the athletes and coaches for the men’s basketball team who thanked the community for the support during the team’s historic run.
“It feels great,” Guard Lamont Butler told FOX 5 before the ceremony. “We did this thing for (the fans) and to have them still supporting us even after it’s all over, it’s been wonderful.”
Fans also had a message for the team: “I think they did a really good job since they never made it that far,” a young fan, Jolee Baker, said to FOX 5.
“Congratulations (and) good job,” said SDSU alumni, Latonda Cranford. “We’re very proud of you and we’re looking forward to seeing you guys win it all next year.”
While some of the seniors will be graduating this spring, those that will be on the team in the next season are already itching to get back on the court.
“It just makes you hungry,” Aztecs Guard Jaedon LeDee told FOX 5. “It’s kind of just put in a taste in my mouth that I just want more.”
FOX 5’s Frank Jefferson contributed to this report.