LUBBOCK, Tex. (KAMC) — A team manager for Texas Tech men’s basketball and his guide dog experienced a once in a lifetime opportunity this weekend, traveling with the Red Raiders to the national championship.
At the beginning of the season, everythinglubbock.com introduced the city to Colin Baxter, a young man who lost his eye sight from a brain tumor in 2016. Head Coach Chris Beard took him under his wing, asking him to join the team as a manager.
Fast forward to 2019, Baxter said this was never where he expected to end up.
“What I have been saying all season is still true today,” he said. “It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I can’t believe I was sitting right there by the court for the Final Four.”
Baxter said he did not typically travel with the team throughout his time as a manger because it was logistically difficult for his guide dog Chase. This included keeping a consistent schedule for his best companion.
“Chase has scheduled times he uses the restroom and stuff,” he said. “It was my own personal thing. I do not want to get in the way or be a distraction. I just want them to focus on the game and winning.”
However, this time around, he said it would be a mistake to not try to experience this historic moment with his team.
“I would hate myself if I do not come here to Minneapolis,” he said.
A stadium filled with 73,000 people made it more difficult on his ability to hear.
Baxter said he sat court side at the Final Four, listening in through the radio talk. The noise and excitement from the fans still creeped through his headset.
“It is still electric,” he said.
Baxter said he now looks forward to Monday’s national championship match-up against Virginia.
“You know we have made it further than anyone ever expected us to make it so I just expect the icing on the cake tomorrow,” he said. “I think this is one of those weekends we tell our grandkids about 50 years from now and I truly believe that.”