WACO, TX — For the first time in program history, the Baylor Bears paraded down Austin Avenue as national champions.
“I’m glad a lot of people are coming out to support Baylor because we haven’t had a win in a long time, a long time," said one fan who attended the parade.
“It’s hard to imagine. It’s hard to believe this is actually happening. I'm so proud of them. They played so hard. I’ve never seen a team like this before... as small as they were and tough as they were," said another fan.
Thousands of Baylor fans crowded the Waco streets to celebrate the green and gold. Fans traveled from across Texas and even outside the state to attend the parade.
Waco city leaders, like Mayor Dillon Meek, and representatives from the Waco Fire Department kicked off the parade, followed by hundreds of Baylor Basketball alumni who came back to Waco to celebrate the national title.
The man of the hour on the seemingly perfect spring afternoon was Scott Drew. The 18-year head coach was finally able to see his hard work pay off.
“None of this was possible without all these guys [alumni] putting in all those hours, building the foundation so that these guys [current players] can bring us our first national championship!” said Coach Drew.
But the real show came at the end of the parade as players rode in cars and pickup trucks, smiling at every block.
Baylor guard Jared Butler proudly displayed the team's title trophy as fans stormed into Heritage Square to get a closer look at the national champs.
“Davion called me, he said he was coming back. MaCio said he was coming back. We got the band back together, and we were gonna win a national championship. That’s what it was all about," explained Butler.
As the confetti fell and the Bears were crowned kings in Waco, they brought with them not only a culture of joy but one of hope as well.
“I really just wanted to inspire the young ones, those that really don’t come from anything like myself. Those Black kids out there that struggle, everything like that. I just wanted to be a good example for y’all," said Baylor forward Mark Vital.
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