Jerry Colangelo has big fingerprints. They’re all over Grand Canyon University.
The basketball arena is purple, the color rejected by the Diamondbacks after Colangelo’s unceremonious departure. The head coach is Dan Majerle, the favorite Sun rejected by Robert Sarver’s new regime. The $50 million arena is the handiwork of a man who had a 37-year career with Colangelo and oversaw construction of his downtown empire.
If you’re not paying attention, you’re missing a fascinating game.
On one level, this is the story of a religious university seeking flight through sports. GCU wants the name recognition and branding of schools like Gonzaga, Marquette, Butler and Pepperdine. Its ambition has elicited a few scoffs along the way.