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WICHITA, Kan. -- Wichita State University's men's basketball team got an unexpected new fan when they arrived home after their latest NCAA tournament victory.
A plane carrying New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow was refueling in Wichita when the Shockers' bus arrived Sunday after their upset win over top-seeded Gonzaga.
Tebow's representative asked coach Gregg Marshall if the Heisman Trophy winner could talk to the team.
Wearing a pink sweater over a tie and untucked shirt, Tebow got on the team bus, grabbed a microphone and told the players their surprising run to the Sweet 16 is something they will remember for the rest of their lives, regardless of what they do in the future. He also congratulated them and said they were an inspiration to many people.
"Some of you might go play in the NBA or you might have great lives. But this is the time you will remember," Tebow said. "All of you all together, ballin' out there together, training together, putting in the heart and sweat, everything, caring about each other. You'll never forget it, guys, this is what it's made of and these are the special times in your life, regardless of what you do in the future.
"So I just want to say congrats. You're an inspiration to so many people, so always remember that and how you carry yourself and your character, how you represent your school, your family, your team, your brothers on the team, but also, man, just go out there and ball out, leave nothing on the court. I know you don't need to hear that from me, but I just wish y'all luck and we're praying for you. God bless, and y'all go do it, all right, guys?"
The team then headed to Koch Arena, where thousands of fans had gathered to greet the team.
The Shockers play La Salle on Thursday night in Los Angeles.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.