The Butler fan experience at the Battle 4 Atlantis

The Honaker family during their trip to the Bahamas. Butler went 2-1 in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. Photo by Jimmy Lafakis. 

JIMMY LAFAKIS | STAFF REPORTER | jlafakis@butler.edu

The Butler family came from far and wide to support the men’s basketball team at the Battle 4 Atlantis. Butler finished 2-1 in the annual tournament. The Collegian spoke with some Bulldog fans who made the trip to Paradise Island about their experience.

The Sandhu family

From left to right: Jatinder-Bir Sandhu ‘86, Anil Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Roop Sandhu. Photo by Jimmy Lafakis. 

Jatinder-Bir and Roop Sandhu recently gave a $1 million dollar gift to Butler University. The gift will assist with the Hinkle Fieldhouse renovations. It is the largest gift in Butler athletics history. In the Bahamas, the Sandhu family reunited with the Singh family, their friends from Arizona.

Roop Sandhu:

“The trip has been fun because we get to cheer on the Bulldogs in a beautiful location. We’ve enjoyed the games, of course.”

“Watching the Bulldogs is special because of our connection to the players and the university. These are not just young men we watch on TV. These are people we know as students and fine examples of Bulldogs.”

“Our dear friends from Arizona were able to join us two years ago in Las Vegas. They fell in love with the Butler community, seeing it as just as special as we do. They are so happy to be joining us in the Bahamas, and we hope to have them on many more trips with us.”

“We also so appreciate the passion that the players bring to the game. The cheerleaders are great kids and wonderful representatives of Butler.”

The Showley/Zeronik family


From left to right: Drew Zeronik, Lori Showley ‘74, Bob Zeronik, Lon Showley ‘66. Photo by Jimmy Lafakis.

Lon Showley played on the Butler men’s basketball team before moving to San Diego, starting under Tony Hinkle. Lori has a Butler Final Four flag from the 2010 championship run and carries it with her whenever she travels to watch the Bulldogs play. She traveled to both Final Fours in 2010 and 2011. Her son, Drew, a Purdue graduate, and husband, Bob, came along for the trip.  

Lon Showley:

“We never had these kinds of opportunities for tournaments like this, but the enthusiasm of the Butler fans has not changed. The Butler Way has been enhanced now.”

“Any occasion where I get to see friends I haven’t seen in many years is wonderful, as well. I follow the games on TV on Fox Sports. It’s easy to stay in touch with the team.”

The Lawton family

From left to right: Nancy Lawton, Denny Lawton ‘71, Alison Lawton-Behr. Photo by Jimmy Lafakis. 

Nancy Lawton and her husband Denny attend nearly every Butler sporting event at Hinkle Fieldhouse and the Sellick Bowl. Nancy is a Ball State graduate, but the Bulldogs became her favorite team. She and Denny travel together to watch Butler play. Their daughter, Alison, joined her parents for the trip.  

Nancy Lawton:

“When you’re with the Butler family, it’s awesome. The Butler people make up such a unique, special group of people.”

“We’ve gone on the slides, done some swimming and did a five-mile run. We’ve been out, walking, moving.”

“The Thanksgiving dinner was so good. It’s been a really good experience. It’s been great, it’s always great.”

The Honaker familyBack row, from left to right: Graham Honaker, Sarah Honaker. Front row, from left to right: Kate Honaker, Bella Honaker. Photo by Jimmy Lafakis.

Graham is the Executive Director of Principal Gifts at Butler University. He flew in with the team. His wife Sarah and daughters, Kate and Bella, came in from Louisville. Kate celebrated her 10th birthday on Nov. 21. A Wake Forest graduate, Graham describes himself as a “hoops junkie.”

Graham Honaker:

“This is as good as it gets. These trips are great because the Butler fans, alumni, coaches and their families that travel are like an extended family.”

“Then, you get to come to a place like this for a week and watch Butler basketball. For me, that’s kind of like heaven.”

“They call it Paradise Island for a reason. Hopefully, we’ll get back here in a few years.”

“Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude. You really feel fortunate to bring your family here, but you also feel really great about where the Butler program is to be invited to something like this.”

“There’s a lot of gratitude. Not just for the present, but for the past players and coaches who helped get us here and built the foundation.”

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