Before attending Gonzaga, Southern Californian Abe Eagle was offered a scholarship to the state university closest to his home, Cal State University Northridge (CSNU). It was the same day he scored 24 points to defeat a league opponent. Obviously, he didn’t accept the offer.
In his Spokesman-Review bio, it states Abe scored 1,000-plus career points, set school record with 17 made field goals in a game and earned Class of 2020 scholar-athlete award at his high school Chaminade Prep. Playing at CSNU sounded reasonable for the 6’ 9” 230-pounder with a soft touch around the basket. He could have taken road trips to the University of Hawaii, battled Dan Monson’s Long Beach State and had a nice career in the Big West Conference.
I’m guessing Abe didn’t want to do what was safe and easy, he wanted more of a challenge in his college experience than CSNU could have provided. Now he gets to play for the #1 ranked team in the nation and daily battle the Naismith Award favorite. Oh yeah, he’s also on Gonzaga’s President’s list for achieving a G.P.A. exceeding 3.85. I’d say Mr. Eagle is extremely intelligent and also exceptionally pragmatic for someone so young.
Along with fellow walk-on Colby Brooks, Abe should see some minutes this year after two years in the program. Potentially, he could receive his undergraduate degree at Gonzaga, enter the transfer portal with one of two years of eligibility and get his graduate degree via scholarship. A pretty good deal for an brilliant student-athlete.
In the two seasons Abe has been at Gonzaga, they’ve been ranked #1 for 24 of 36 weeks. As of today, 247 and CBS sports have Gonzaga as the preseason #1. Meanwhile CSNU is #332 on KenPom. Yep, extremely intelligent and exceptionally pragmatic.
Old guy military trivia: A Google search of Abe Eagle also brought results for the Civil War mascot of the 8th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment. It was a Bald Eagle called “Old Abe”, named after the President Lincoln. Jump forward to WWI and the Wisconsin Regiment was redesignated the 101st division. In WWII, the 101st became an airborne division and their famous “Screaming Eagle” patch depicts their old Wisconsin Civil War mascot, “Old Abe” the eagle. Yeah I know, not a damn thing to do with college basketball but neither does playing on an aircraft carrier. I just thought it was kinda cool.