FORT MYERS, Fla. - FGCU's Cinderella story has come to an end. Saturday the men's basketball team rolled back into Ft. Myers after an exhilarating run all the way to the NCAA's Sweet 16.
Wink News spoke with the coach and players as they stepped off the bus, who say they're disappointed but not defeated.
"I'm surprised they all showed up but I'm glad. It proves that they weren't just here just because we were in the tournament but they really cared about us," said Senior Sherwood Brown.
Brown may have been surprised at the warm reception, but these are no fair-weather fans.
"When I was watching the game at the beginning, my family and I were going crazy because we thought they were gonna win," said 11-year-old Anna Hoyt. She says win or lose her team is still FGCU.
"I wanted to cheer on the team since they played so good," Hoyt said.
"The Southwest Florida community has been unbelievable with the support and I'm so happy for our players, what they mean to this university and it's great to see the smile on of these peoples' faces when they show up. People keep telling me they haven't been this excited about the NCAA Tournament in many many years and watching our team play brought that excitement back," said Head Coach Andy Enfield.
Star forward Eddie Murray had little to say about Friday night's loss against University of Florida, focusing instead on the team's amazing race to the top.
"It hurt in the moment but me and Sherwood as Seniors, we couldn't ask for any better way to go out," he said, "I can't even describe how many people were in Dallas that made the 20-hour trip. I got to grow up in this community and it's awesome to deliver something back to them. I never would have thought that FGCU would be in the Sweet 16 and now everyone knows where FGCU is. Dunk City.
Both Brown and Murray told Wink News they hope to continue playing basketball either in the NBA or overseas.