PHOTO PROVIDED / JOHNNY SALDANAGonzaga basketball coach Mark Few visited his hometown of Creswell last week to visit family and feed a sweet tooth.

CRESWELL – Johnny Saldaña, owner of Bigfoot Fudge, received a nice surprise recently as Gonzaga basketball coach Mark Few popped his head in to see how late the ice cream and fudge shop would be open that night. 

“Mark and his family were out for a walk and I said we were here until 9 p.m.,” Saldaña said. “He said they were having dinner next door and wanted to come back for dessert, and he said there would be about 17 of us. He had a little bit of a smirk so I wasn’t sure if he was being real or pulling my leg.

“Well, gosh darn, he was being real – 17 came in and it was fun — I thought it was funny, I shared with Jennifer, my wife, that everybody seemed to be waiting for somebody to order something, but Norn wasn’t shy. He said, ‘Give me two scoops of chocolate in one of the waffle cones’.

“I just wanted to thank the family for coming out to my shop,” Saldaña said. “Norm had never been here, but he knew about the shop. People may have brought some to the church, or he might have been given some of our products as a gift.”

Saldaña says he always enjoys watching the Zags – even though they’re his second-favorite team. 

“I watch basketball – I root for my Longhorns, I’m a Texas guy,” he said. “But who doesn’t like a winner, and who doesn’t like good people like the Fews. And Mark Few has become quite a celebrity with the job he has done at Gonzaga.”

Gonzaga, a virtual lock most years to at least reach the Elite Eight, is coming off somewhat of a disappointing season, having lost to Arkansas in the Sweet 16. 

Then this past week, the Zags’ top three players – Chet Holmgren (the likely No. 1 overall pick), Drew Timme and Andrew Nembhard – all confirmed plans to enter the NBA draft.