Hoops fans inspired as Las Vegas area stars compete for NCAA cha - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Hoops fans inspired as Las Vegas area stars compete for NCAA championship

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Las Vegas native Zach Collins. (AP) Las Vegas native Zach Collins. (AP)

North Carolina is going home with the NCAA National Championship night, but all the support in Las Vegas was behind two members of the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Bishop Gorman graduate, Zach Collins, and Findlay Prep product, Nigel Williams-Goss gave local hoops fans a rooting interest as they helped shine a national spotlight on Las Vegas.

"We've had our share of big time players that have gone on to play in big colleges and some in the NBA, but the fact that it's happened this quickly for Zach on a national stage ... (I'm) really proud of Zach Collins, really proud of Nigel Williams-Goss, (a) good friend of ours," Bishop Gorman basketball coach, Grant Rice said. "To have two Las Vegas kids playing for a national championship; that tells you a lot."

Local fans who came out to watch the game said couldn't help but see Gonzaga, a championship level mid-major school with Las Vegas athletes, and not think about their own Runnin' Rebels.

"I'm really hopeful that with us getting the new stadium, getting the Raiders, with UNLV football doing well, basketball can turn around, there is no reason we can't be like Gonzaga and back in the national championship someday," Runnin' Rebel fan Stephen Shulman said.

"It's very hard for kids growing up in our city to emulate someone when they don't have someone to look at. The old days of UNLV are long gone and I think this helps put us back on the map," basketball fan, Jamieson Poh said.

"This place is about to explode, it's going to be a wild ride in the next three to five years here in Las Vegas," Rice said.

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