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Turiaf returns to Spokane to finish what he started

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Former Zag Ronny Turiaf will be one of 48 student-athletes graduating from Gonzaga on Sunday (Photo: File / SWX) Former Zag Ronny Turiaf will be one of 48 student-athletes graduating from Gonzaga on Sunday (Photo: File / SWX)

Ronny Turiaf is returning to Spokane – at least for a day or two.  The former fan-favorite member of the basketball team will join 47 other student athletes at Gonzaga's commencement ceremonies at Spokane Arena on Sunday.

Turiaf, who is currently a member of the Golden State Warriors NBA team, will receive his degree in Sport Management from Gonzaga. 

After playing out his eligibility at Gonzaga, Turiaf was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers and spent his first three seasons there until signing with Golden State in 2008. Turiaf underwent heart surgery in July 2005 when Lakers doctors discovered he had an enlarged aortic root. He rejoined the team six months after surgery and played 23 games for the Lakers to close out the 2006 season.

"Our goal is to have all of our student-athletes graduate, but sometimes situations arise where academic goals are put on hold," said Athletic Director Mike Roth in a news release. "It is a special feeling when former student athletes show the drive and dedication to finish what they have started in the classroom. People like Ronny are great role models to prove you can reach your academic goals you may not have achieved in your initial tenure at Gonzaga."

Graduating Gonzaga student-athletes:

Baseball: Liam Baron, Drew Heid, Jacob Hiatt, Kyle LaHonta, Jeremy Stumetz, Brian Yardley.

Men's Basketball: Matt Bouldin, Will Foster, Chris Pontarolo-Maag, Ronny Turiaf.

Women's Basketball: Heather Bowman, Vivian Frieson.

Men's Cross Country/Track: Robby Hayes, Eddie Niedermeyer, Noah Stout.

Women's Cross Country/Track: Ashlee Commeree, Molly Funk, Corrina O'Brien, Lauren Rochholz.

Men's Golf: Jason Azzarito, Derek Cheney.

Women's Golf: Lauren Bierley, Anna Friedhoff.

Men's Rowing: Sean Finerty, Will Griffith.

Women's Rowing: Sophie Bluhm, Lana Bowie, Samantha  Cekovic, Madison Feddersen, Lauren Miller, Elizabeth Moore, Alissa Stempson.

Men's Soccer: Nick Barclay, Scott Barnum, Ben Funkhouser, Tim Muravez, Tye Perdido.

Women's Soccer:  Christi D'Agostino, Amy Danielson, Taylor Hall, Kat Taylor, Jessie Thalman, Jessie Sorenson.

Men's Tennis: Roman Dojcak, Zach Peach.

Volleyball: Michelle Boevers, Layne Brosky, Emily Johnson.

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