The Grand Canyon student section chanted loudly after an emphatic block during the Western Athletic Conference tournament.
“You got swatted! You got swatted!”
And that was before their team even played Thursday. The Antelopes’ boisterous young fans, nicknamed the Havocs, raised the energy level at Orleans Arena when Utah Valley and UMKC were still playing.They got excited when the Kangaroos’ Jamel Allen rejected the Wolverines’ Isaiah White with 11:44 remaining. Then they brought things to a fever pitch when Grand Canyon played Seattle and helped will their team to an 84-75 victory.
“Our student section is one of the best in the country,” Lopes forward Michael Finke said. “To have them here for our games, home games, away games, it’s always a huge plus for us. The crowd was really into it. I saw a lot of purple in the stands.”
The Havocs went all out for the WAC tournament quarterfinals and thanks to them, Grand Canyon had by far the loudest support during Thursday’s games.
Their members dressed in costumes, such as a Tootsie Roll or an angel, or in the school’s purple and white colors. They waved signs featuring purple dinosaur, Barney, Michael Scott from “The Office” and video game baddie Waluigi. And they shouted in full voice during every free throw to try to force the Redhawks to miss.
Grand Canyon’s Phoenix campus is around 300 miles from Orleans Arena so it wasn’t a difficult trip for its students, at least the ones not enrolled in the school’s more popular online programs, to make. Still, coach Dan Majerle doesn’t want to take that support for granted.
“We love it,” Majerle said. “We expect a great crowd. They never disappoint us, ever.”