WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — It’s a tough rebuilding year for the Wichita State University Shockers. On Wednesday night, they lost to Tulane in overtime at Charles Koch Arena. The loss dropped the Shockers to 10-10 overall and 3-5 in the AAC.

A pair of season ticket holders traveled all the way from California to watch their favorite team, and they’ll be back for more.

Rod and Pam Alston (KSN Photo)

Rod and Pam Alston fly into Wichita for every single Shockers basketball home game.

The Alstons aren’t your typical Shocker fans. In fact, Pam says she wasn’t a sports fan at all until she married Rod.

“I did not want to be a sports widow. Which meant that every Saturday, he’d be watching college football. On Sundays, he’d be watching the NFL, and then on other days of the week, he’d be watching the NBA or college basketball. So, I had to get with the program,” said Pam as she and her husband sat courtside for an interview.

Rod grew up in Coffeyville, graduated from WSU, and met Pam after he moved to Oakland. The couple has been married for 22 years. A few years ago, the Wichita State Alumni Association invited the Alstons as guests to attend a Shockers home game.

“And I was smitten,” said Pam. “I was smitten with Shocker basketball, but Rod was smitten with getting season tickets after we retired.”

Rod and Pam retired two years ago, and indeed, they purchased Shocker season tickets and committed to traveling to Wichita for every home game.

“We just make it work. It wasn’t the original plan that I had. My original plan was for us to purchase a condominium here in Wichita and spend the basketball season in Wichita,” said Rod.

The Alstons say they fly Southwest Airlines because it serves the Oakland airport. There are no direct flights, so there’s a long layover in Denver. Then, they catch a connection to Wichita.
They do this at least 18 times over the course of a season!

“And I love coming into Gate 4 because that is the Shocker gate,” said Pam.

If you haven’t noticed, Pam added, “I’m the talker, right?”

The Alstons enjoy eating dinner in the Champions Club in Koch Arena before tip-off, and Pam loves socializing with fans during the games.

“Well, they ask us what you asked us. Why do we do it? So, we tell them, and they’re astounded,” Pam said.

Rod and Pam also support the Shocker Athletic Scholarship Organization, and they bought a brick with “We Believe!” engraved below their names on the sidewalk near the Foundation Building.

“And we believe, every year, we believe they have the potential to go to a championship,” said Pam.

The Alstons were in Atlanta to watch the Shockers in the 2013 Final Four, and they have faith in coach Isaac Brown to someday lead them to glory again.

“So, Isaac Brown, I.B. is the acronym. He has a carving in his office that says, ‘I Believe.’ So, we asked him, ‘What do you believe?’ And what he believes, we believe now too.”

Rob is retired from Alameda County management. Pam is a retired dentist and administrator. Pam is a graduate of Cal-Berkley, and yes, the Alstons have season tickets for Golden Bears football.

Rod and Pam have missed only one Shockers’ home game this season, and that was while they were on a vacation in December.