“Go West Young Man” - Horace Greeley, 1865
We’ve been up north at Nova Nation – We’ve been down south with the Rowdy Reptiles. It’s time our little journey crosses the country to “Point Guard U” in Tucson, Arizona - Home of the Student Wildcat Club.
Third stop: # 15 Arizona Wildcats
Student Section: The ZonaZoo
Student Section Case Study: Giuliano Lepe, Senior
ORB: We know every student section is loud, crazy, and full of team spirit. What makes you and the ZonaZoo stand out from the rest?
Giuliano: Yes, all of those things do apply to us for sure, and I Love College Hoops more than anybody, but one thing that does stand out from the rest is that we are one of the only student sections in the country that is 100% run by students. The ZonaZoo Crew is really pretty new, starting in 2002 with just a few members. My sophomore year it had 20 students, and now in my Senior year, that has almost doubled with a student committee of 35 members with 5 different directors.
ORB: That is impressive. What are some of your responsibilities as the “Leader” of the Zoo Crew?
Giuliano: My main focus is on getting as many students involved as possible, and getting students all the information they need. Our ticketing program can get a student into EVERY game for EVERY sport for the entire season from football, to swimming to tennis, and of course to basketball. It does cost extra for hoops, but overall it is a phenomenal deal (The Wildcats have 18 intercollegiate varsity teams, and the cost is $95 w/out basketball, $135 all inclusive).
ORB: Are there any specific things ZonaZoo members, and you personally, like to do at games to try and intimidate the opponent?
Giuliano: “Rattle The Shooter Ritual” is one of my favorites. The south side of the McKale Center right behind the basket is just jam packed, and we’re waving 4′ X 3′ cardboard cutouts of coaches and players, waving our 40′ X 40′ flag, and, you know, yelling at the top of our lungs. We’ve got some other “basketball distractions” planned for this year like Speedo Man, Hula – dancers (that would be MEN Hula – dancers), and just having a big ol’ Penguin walking around randomly. You just never know what you’re going to get!
ORB: I won’t even ask what Speedo Man is all about… Do you guys ever get involved with your school mascot “Wilbur?”
Giuliano: Yes, and we love Wilbur. At some point during a game, we’ll pass Wilbur from the floor of the court, to the top of the stands, and back down again – like he’s in a mosh pit. Wilbur does an amazing job at getting the Zoo pumped up.
ORB: What is it that you love most about being a ZonaZoo member?
Giuliano: Just being a student at Arizona is amazing - an incredible experience. I grew up in Los Angeles, and I was a 4 time varsity letterman in football and baseball in high school before I blew out my elbow. I also worked in the entertainment industry as a Production Assistant for the Women in Film, Crystal, and Lucy Awards. Being part of the ZonaZoo Crew has allowed me to utilize aspects of athletics and entertainment, and that has helped to make a huge part of my time here pretty awesome.
The Original Retro Brand would like to thank Giuliano for his time today, and wish him and the ZonaZoo the best of luck for the duration of the season.
We’ve only just begun our I Love College Hoops ” journey. We criss-cross back to the east coast for our next stop when we visit with “Otto’s Army” from Syracuse.