After a dominant 85–66 win over No. 6 seed USC on Tuesday, No. 1 Gonzaga improved its winning streak to 30 games and, more importantly, punched its ticket to the men’s Final Four.
It was a stark contrast from the scene on the same day two years before, when No. 3 Texas Tech staged a 75–69 upset of the No. 1 Zags at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
There, front row center in the Red Raiders’ family section, was their biggest cheerleader for the day, Grammy-winning rapper Nipsey Hussle, screaming and yelling for Texas Tech guard Brandone Francis.
Hussle was friends with Francis’s father, Bobby, and the rapper came to show his support for the big game.
The next day, Hussle was shot and killed in front of the Marathon clothing store he owned in Los Angeles, a devastating blow to the hip-hop community.
Months before his death, we caught up with Hussle, a Los Angeles native and an avid Lakers fan.
As the talk steered away from his new album Victory Lap, Hussle shared his love for basketball, including special memories of using Allen Iverson’s killer crossover on the blacktop and why he would rank No. 1 among rappers who played ball.
Checkout Hussle’s comments in the video above.