WICHITA, Kansas — For decades Kansas and Kansas State have been sharing the attention when it comes to basketball. Even here in Wichita the Shockers have played little brother to the other Kansas basketball teams but following the Shock’s recent success is the balance shifting?
Tonight, the Roundhouse was rocking and the crowd was truly electric as this year’s Shockers seem to be uniting basketball fans. Some of those fans have long preferred the Wildcats or Jayhawks until recently.
Ralph and Lois Fairman though are long time Shockers fans and they’re used to their team being an afterthought.
“We sat through a lot of losing seasons,” said Ralph.
Recently, that’s changed and these aren’t the same
Shockers the Fairmans began coming to see 25 years ago.
“I think it’s great. Never thought it would happen and we’re really enjoying it,” said Lois.
Wichita State merchandise is in high demand, closing the gap on the other Kansas teams.
“All three schools are doing pretty well so it’s a good time for college basketball if you’re in Kansas,” said Chris Hawkins, an employee at Tad’s Locker Room sports shop.
Eric Smith, a fan who usually roots KU/K-State attended his first Shockers game tonight to check out the atmosphere.
“They are doing well and there is a lot of hype. I’ve heard good things about them and their arena and I just wanted to check it out,” said Smith.
While Kansas and Kansas State fans may never root entirely for the Shockers, the fan base here has plenty to cheer about.