CHICAGO (CBS) — Matt Mooney helped Texas Tech punch its ticket to Minneapolis by scoring 17 points in an upset of top-seeded Gonzaga.
The Wauconda native has taken the road less traveled. And Mooney’s biggest cheerleader is along for the ride.
For four years, every practice and every game, Sandy Levy sat in the same spot in the Notre Dame College Prep gym. He was watching his grandson Matt Mooney, now a starting guard for Texas Tech. The proud grandpa’s seat this weekend will be at the Final Four.
“I have no buttons (on shirt). They all popped off. I wore a red Texas tech shirt the other day and this little lady came up to me and said Texas Tech? I said yes my grandson plays for them. It was amazing,” said Matt’s grandfather, Sandy Levy.
Matt showed his determination in high school. He commuted two hours daily from his home in Wauconda to play for Coach Tom Les at Notre Dame.
Now he’s grown into a 6-3 shooter and a stabilizing force for the Red Raiders.
“He measured himself every morning at the kitchen wall with a ruler. Every day. He was puny. A little guy but he was quick and loved the game,” said Levy. “When he first got here (Notre Dame Prep) he was wiry and small. He’s a hard worker, determined, a good kid but a very confident kid,” said former Notre Dame Prep coach Tom Les.
Matt’s been on quite a journey since he left Notre Dame. He went to the Air Force Academy, then transferred to South Dakota. He sat out a year and eventually graduated but he still had a year of eligibility left and wanted to fulfill his dream of playing in the NCAA tournament. So he ended up at Texas Tech.
“Matt as a player, when the lights were brightest, the moments were the biggest is when he performed his best,” said Les.
“I was sure I would watch him in the NCAA Tournament but the Final Four? Come on. It’s just unbelievable,” said Levy.