Musketeer basketball has created a lasting legacy spanning three generations
Photo courtesy of Alex Brown | The Brown family are longtime Xavier basketball fans, and the lineage of attending the school has persisted for three generations has impacted their lives.
When attending Xavier basketball games — whether they are at home or on the road — the strong alumni base always supports the Musketeers. Decked out in their vintage Xavier gear, they play just as big of a role as students do in cheering on Xavier.
But even though students and alumni sit close to each other in the arena, often times we don’t have a chance to talk with them about their own Xavier roots.
Through junior Alex Brown, Newswire was able to get in contact with one of the biggest Xavier alumni fans around — his grandpa. Richard (Dick) Funk graduated from Xavier back in 1959 and has been a dedicated fan of the program ever since.
Newswire sat down with both grandfather and grandson to ask them questions about their Xavier fandom.
Grandpa Funk, could you give me a brief history of your connection to Xavier basketball?
Funk: “Well I tried out for the team, does that count? When I was a freshman I tried out and got cut, but I did make it to the last cut. But after I got cut, I still followed the team just like everyone else at school. After that I used to be a bus driver for the team in 1958. I drove the team back and forth from the Cincinnati Gardens and had a great time doing it.”
After graduating from Xavier, what has kept you so involved in Xavier basketball?
F: “I think Xavier always being a top program has a lot to do with it. No matter the conference we have been in, Xavier has always been at the top of it. Keeping that winning tradition is important to me.”
Why do you consider it special to be a Xavier alumnus?
F: “The alumni here at Xavier are just a great community. I know that me and my family always feel we have a place at Xavier. The past few have been a great job a perpetuating that, as I think our attendance has been the best in the country.”
Have any thoughts on this year’s team?
F: “Well I don’t know much about them yet. I know we got the new coach and some new players, but I hope they can join together and win some games.”
So Alex, what’s it like to have such a strong family connection to the school?
Brown: “It’s really cool. Being a third generation Xavier student makes me feel like I have a place at this school. My mom and dad both graduated from here, plus multiple cousins, too. Xavier means a lot in my family, and I’m happy to continue the tradition.”
Do you see any difference of opinions on X basketball among the generations of Xavier fans?
B: “Well, my grandpa is a lot more negative on the team, as most people are. But for me and my younger cousins, I’d say we all share the same passion and optimism for the team. We’ve seen a lot of success in our time as fans, so we know this team is capable of anything.”
What do you think the alumni base means to Xavier?
B: “It means a lot. As my grandpa said, the community is great. The alumni are always supportive of the team in multiple ways, whether is cheering them on or giving them money. We all want the team to be successful.”
Going forward, will you continue to stay connected to Xavier and its program?
B: “Absolutely. I love this program.”
Now, can I have a prediction from both of you for this season?
F: “If we stay over .500 I think that would be great for this team.”
B: “4th in the Big East, Big East Championship Game, Sweet 16.”
By: Colin Cooper | Staff Writer