Don’t you just hate that lull between Thanksgiving and Christmas? There isn’t a lot to do while waiting for one of the most anticipated holidays of the year. Well, right smack in the middle of that, the NBRPA assisted with hosting a top 10 college basketball matchup. Amid a cold and overcast December day in Seattle, the number five ranked UConn Huskies battled against the number ten ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs. Inside the Space Needle Lounge at Climate Pledge Arena, the NBRPA hosted a pre-game hospitality lounge for two hours prior to tip-off. Fans of both teams mingled with Legends of the game, entered to win prizes, and prepared to watch a great basketball game between two powerhouse schools. 

 In the lounge you could find former Seattle Supersonics stars including NBRPA Board of Directors member Sam Perkins, Steve Hawes, and Vladmir Stepania in attendance to watch some top tier collegiate hoops. If that wasn’t enough, the NBRPA also enhanced the experience for fans by featuring two autographed basketballs signed by local Spokane and Gonzaga Legend John Stockton available for auction and raffle, with all donations and raffled tickets sold supporting the NBRPA’s charitable mission and Legends Care programs.  

Like the Legends of Basketball Las Vegas Invitational in early December 2023, the Gonzaga faithful once again showed out in full force. The energy was high and the atmosphere was electric as the game got started. Even though the reigning NCAA men’s basketball champion seemed to be too much for the young Bulldogs, the Gonzaga fans rooted for their team until the very end. While Gonzaga hung right in there with the experienced UConn team throughout most of the game, the Huskies eventually pulled away near the end of the second half and won this highly anticipated matchup by a final score of 76-63. 

Great hospitality, Legendary company, and a hard-fought game –– what more can you ask for? We would not be surprised to see a rematch of these two teams come March.