T-Wolves New Fan

Will Shurtz (left) and Tony Borelli

T-Wolves’ New Fan
By Rebekah Stivers

Will Shurtz, of Atlanta, is one of the Wolves newest fans. A recent college grad, he follows the NBA closely. In fact, he went looking for a team to call his own last summer. He sent emails to every NBA ball club, expressing interest in learning about each team and asking why he should want to be a fan.

Only about four clubs responded, sending generic emails referring him to the team website. It was a fairly long shot, sending an email to the generic fan relations account of every NBA ball club.

But only the Wolves gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse: A personal note from the vice president of Wolves Fan Relations, Jeff Munneke, saying that if Shurtz wanted to come see a game, Munneke would give him his own tickets.

“Kevin Garnett is definitely my favorite player. He’s the best in the league. You can’t get any better than that,” Shurtz says.

Tonight he sits in comp’d lower-level seats with a college buddy, friend Tony Borelli. They have picked a good night. The place is packed out, and ESPN is here. Lots of energy. They plan to drink a few beers: “That’s the only way to do it,” Shurtz says.

He is familiar with the stats on the players. A recent Auburn University graduate, he notes that Latrell Sprewell comes from the University of Alabama (’92)–an Auburn arch-rival.

Shurtz, who works for a law firm in Atlanta, flew in on his own dime for the weekend, because of the tickets. “I wanted to take in the whole Minnesota experience.” This included a Gopher’s Men’s Basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 5, in which the Gophers beat the Badgers 60-50, moving into a tie for third in the Big Ten.

He has experienced the local expression “Minnesota Nice” this weekend indeed. “People have gone way above and beyond for us.”

He and his friend arrived at the Target Center a couple hours prior to game time, where they had their picture taken center court while the players took warm-up shots.

So why did he not pick a warmer time of the year—February in Minnesota? He’s not nuts, he jokes, and certainly has no complaints. It would appear he not only lucked out on the weather, but on the kindness of the T-Wolves too.