When Gonzaga takes the floor next season, there will be a new generation taking over in the back court. For the past four years, Gonzaga fans have been spoiled by the consistently excellent duo of Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr. The talented guards led the program to new heights during their four years and left a mark on the Gonzaga basketball program.
As he prepares for the next step in his career, we had a chance to catch up with Kevin Pangos to discuss his experience at Gonzaga, as well as his preparation for the NBA.
For the first time since 1999, Gonzaga advanced to the Elite 8. For Pangos, it was a fitting end to an incredible career.
"It was an unbelievable experience and a great way for me to finish off my four years," he explained. "Selfishly, it was something I really wanted to achieve, but more importantly, I was happy for our whole team and the entire community. The best thing was being able to do this with guys like Gary and Kyle. We walked about doing this when we were freshman. This was for sure the closest team I have ever been a part of, and it was a great accomplishment."
While the talented Canadian made a huge mark early in his career, his improvement over the course of his career was truly impressive.
"It's actually kind of hard to put in to words how much I have grown," Pangos said with a laugh. "I've grown more than people can even imagine. Whether it's learning more about myself as an individual outside of basketball, I've grown as a human being in so many ways. On the court, I feel like I am a way better player. I have a better understanding for the game and I have way more tools in my toolbox. I have also become a better winner. I have learned how to win over the past four years."
Pangos was the most recent in a great line of players at the point guard position.
"I don't think there is pressure. It's more of an opportunity," explained Pangos of playing point guard at Gonzaga. "It's a chance to be your own individual among a great group of players that the program has had. To be the Gonzaga point guard is all about character and class. You also have to be a winner. Off the court you can be one person, but when you are on the court you go and win. This is always a team first program, and putting the team first is what all the guys before me did."
Winning for Pangos was even more special at the MAC, a venue he will forever remember.
"The energy is second to none," he said of playing at The Kennel. "I think the consistency of the fan base every single night is something that can't be compared to much else. Going through the four years, there was never a single home game that I didn't have chills coming on the court. The energy and the memories I have are great. It's hard to put into words what the experience is like."