With Louisville knocking off Michigan and becoming national champions last night, Franklin graduate and starting point guard Peyton Siva put the crowning achievement on his already stellar college career.
Siva became the first player from Washington to win the D-1 men’s national championship in six years. The most recent before that? As UW’s Hikeem Stewart was kind enough to remind me, it was actually his brother Rodrick, who was on the team at Kansas when the Jayhawks won the championship in the mid-2000’s.
Bremerton-born Marvin Williams also got a title with North Carolina in 2005. He wound up getting drafted 2nd overall after that season and later signing a $40 million contract in the NBA. Before that, there was another Franklin grad, Jason Terry winning the title with Arizona in 1997 – and he ended up having a fairly decent NBA career himself.
Between those two and Siva, the three are as close to an NCAA title as the city of Seattle has ever had. Or at least, as close as Seattle has been in 55 years, when the Redhawks famously made it to the 1958 national title game against powerhouse Kentucky,
Before falling to Adolph Rupp’s Wildcats squad 84-72, Seattle U knocked off Wyoming, San Francisco and Cal to get to the final four, and dispatched Kansas State to reach the championship game. That list of wins looks impressive, even today.
That team had two players from the state of Washington. Jerry Frizzell, who started on the front line alongside one Elgin Baylor, hailed from Montesano (a small town near Grays Harbor) and Jim Harney, a starting guard, was actually a Seattle native.
Washington State is the only other school from the state to ever reach the D-1 title game. They pulled it off in 1941, losing in a 38-33 “shootout” to Wisconsin.