Late Monday night, news broke that USC had hired a new basketball coach. The Trojans had settled on Andy Enfield, the former head coach at Florida Gulf Coast. In announcing the news, the official Twitter account of the Trojans sent out a tweet that angered the folks at FGCU.
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) April 2, 2013
#DunkCityUSC. The Trojans weren’t just taking Enfield to L.A. They were trying to take the moniker of “Dunk City” with them, too. Understandably, the Eagles and their fans flipped, claiming that the newly coined nickname couldn’t just leave town with the coach.
It’s true that Enfield’s fun fast-paced and free-wheeling style of basketball was a huge catalyst to FGCU’s run to the Sweet 16, and that without Enfield, there would be no Dunk City.
But Dunk City is a lot more than just the coach. It was the Eagles themselves that made Fort Myers Dunk City. It’s a point guard that played his high school ball in the shadow of Austin Rivers (Brett Comer). It’s a kid from West Virginia that caught the lob of the year (Chase Fieler). It’s a hometown senior that watched FGCU grow from swampland to Dunk City (Eddie Murray). And it’s their fearless, on-court leader that started his career as a walk-on (Sherwood Brown).
Full disclosure — I’m from Fort Myers. I watched FGCU — and yes, it’s FGCU, not Florida Gulf Coast — grow from a Division II school to Dunk City in a matter of a few years. The Eagles’ run to the Sweet 16 was special, because it made my home mean something more, if only for a few days. Whenever someone asked where I was from that week, my answer would be “Fort Myers, Florida, aka Dunk City.” And when I said that, people knew exactly what I was talking about. The Dunk City name has become linked with FGCU in a way no one could have ever expected, and in a way that could last a long time.
At Enfield’s introductory press conference, USC AD Pat Haden said the Trojans would no longer use the Dunk City name, leaving the name to the Eagles.
Good. Because, just as FGCU’s tweet on the night of the team’s monumental upset of Georgetown read, when someone asks where FGCU is, you can answer simply.
Dunk City, Florida.