Keith Marcum proudly wore his Florida Gulf Coast gear around Mustang the past couple years, and most folks there didn't pay it much attention.
Things have been different this past week.
“They're all wanting shirts and caps and everything like that,” Marcum said of friends and acquaintances in the Oklahoma City suburb. “But it's not like it's something you can go down to the mall and find.”
Not yet anyway.
“That might change,” Marcum said.
It sure might. Florida Gulf Coast is the darling of the NCAA Tournament, a No. 15 seed that has become a Sweet 16 team. The Eagles weren't even NCAA Tournament eligible until a couple years ago, and now, they've got everyone talking.
No one is happier to talk about them than Marcum.
His daughter, Amanda — yes, the former model who's one of the faces of the tournament — is married to Florida Gulf Coast coach Andy Enfield. That has given Marcum and his wife, Carol, access to one of the most amazing stories in NCAA Tournament history.
“It's just been crazy, crazy, crazy,” Marcum said.
The Marcums traveled to Philadelphia last week.
The primary reason: grandparent duty.
They had a room at the team hotel adjoining the room that Amanda and Andy shared with their three kids, 6-year-old Aila, 4-year-old Lily and soon-to-be 2-year-old Marcum. Whenever Andy and Amanda had something they needed to do, Keith and Carol stepped in and watched the three grandkids.
Keith and Carol are back on grandparent duty this week in Arlington, Texas, where Florida Gulf Coast plays Florida on Friday night.
“I'm on the starting baby-sitting team,” Keith said.
“I'm pretty much an All-American. I can take care of them and do other things at the same time.”
This whole ride through the tournament has been a blast for Marcum. Last week, after Florida Gulf Coast won its second game and secured a spot in the Sweet 16, he watched in wonder as fans in Philly swarmed the players on the arena concourse.
It happened while Duke was playing Creighton.
“I thought, ‘Duke is playing right there and you have seats and you're up here chasing these Florida Gulf Coast players,'” Marcum said. “I just couldn't believe it.”
What he can believe, though, is that his son-in-law has been successful. Marcum always believed Enfield was capable of basketball greatness.
Marcum recalled a story from Christmas a few years back. Amanda and Andy were living in New Jersey, and Andy, who had been an NBA assistant but was then working as a shooting coach, was doing individual workouts with players of all levels. Andy asked his father-in-law if he wanted to tag along to one of the sessions.
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