As the Seahawks prepare for a cross-country trip to meet the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, it seems like an opportune time to check in with a Seattle athlete who's already there – Charlotte Hornets power forward/center Spencer Hawes.
The Seattle native and UW grad, who is known for being passionate about his hometown sports teams (as well as Christmas), was drafted 10th overall by the Sacramento Kings in the 2007 NBA draft, shortly before the Sonics left town for Oklahoma City.
Hawes shares some of his favorite Seattle memories, as well as local tips for traveling 12s:
Q: What's the most "Seattle" thing you've done during your time in Charlotte?
A: "Watch every Seahawks game."
Q: What was your experience like at Super Bowl XLVIII, when the Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 43-8?
A: "Other than being born, which I do not recall, it was probably the greatest day of my life."
Q: How did you become a Seahawks fan?
A: "Just [being] born and raised in Seattle. I remember growing up, most of the games were blacked out locally because no one was going, and we endured all those seasons. It makes it all the sweeter now."
Q: What's your favorite Seahawks memory?
A: "If I had to say a single memory, when Richard Sherman tipped Colin Kaepernick's pass in the end zone in the NFC title game to send the Seahawks to Super Bowl XLVIII. That was pretty exciting."
Q: Who's your favorite Seahawks player?
A: "Beast Mode! Marshawn Lynch. He is approaching [Ken] Griffey [Jr.] – probably be hard to top Griffey, but approaching Griffey – probably neck-and-neck with The Glove [Gary Payton] right now, as my favorite all-time Seattle athlete."
Q: Have you ever met any Seahawks players?
A: "I know a few of the guys from being around, some of the Pac-10 guys. Jermaine Kearse is one of my buddies from back in college. It's fun to cheer for guys that you know, and guys that are good guys."
Q: If you're in Charlotte for just one day, what's one thing you have to see or do?
A: "Go eat. Taste the southern fare."
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in the Charlotte area?
Q: The Hornets have Sunday off, will you be at the Seahawks game against the Panthers?
A: "Do bears s--- in woods? I will be there."