WICHITA, Kansas — If you made the trip down Kellogg Wednesday, you may have noticed a big police escort on the way to the airport.
It was the Wichita Police Department escorting the Shockers.
The team got the royalty send off on the way to the Final Four.
While fans loved it, local business owners are reveling in the final four Shockers as well.
“This is awesome. I don’t know that it gets any better. Everyone is excited,” said Terry Newman.
Newman is President of Papa John’s, and says he’s seen a lot of pizza fly out the door as people have been ordering pizza for March Madness.
But it’s the Shockers in particular that has Newman and people across the country buzzing.
“Everywhere I go in meetings that’s what they talk about,” explains Newman. “Lunch, I can walk by the tables and that’s what they’re talking about. You turn on the TV and it’s always about Wichita State. So, it’s a good time to be in Shocker Land.”
The Shockers got a celebratory send-off once they got to the airport as well.
Airport workers had decorated airport vehicles with “Go Shocker” signs and the team airplane even got a water fountain shooting over the plane as it taxied on the runway.
The send off seems appropriate for a town that has gone crazy for the players, and coaching staff.
“But nothing surprises me with the players and really nothing surprises me with the coaches,” says Newman. “I love this coaching staff. We work with them on different projects and different camps and this kind of thing and they are some of the best guys that I know when it comes to being a coach. And they treat their players with respect. They treat their fans with respect and you love it when you see that.”
The Shockers will take on Louisville “first” according to Newman.
“Well, they could win. Louisville first,” explained Newman. “And then who knows?”