Emporia State celebrates the impact of a superfan

February 8, 2014

George Breidenthal’s daughter gets some of the credit for her father’s enthusiastic support of women’s basketball at Emporia State University.

“I got into basketball because my daughter talked me into coaching a team,” Breidenthal relates. “I soon realized that I enjoyed coaching girls, because they were more likely to listen,” he continued with a chuckle.

With a $250,000 gift to Now & Forever: The Campaign for Emporia State University, Breidenthal hopes to provide what he calls a championship experience for Emporia State’s women’s basketball team. Through the Women’s Basketball Winning Edge Fund, the gift will provide funding for team travel opportunities and program enhancements.

The gift was honored at a luncheon Saturday, Feb. 8 at W. L. White Auditorium, ahead of an alumni basketball game featuring many of the team members Breidenthal has supported with past contributions and watched play over the years.

“He’s helping our student-athletes achieve not only an outstanding education, but an outstanding experience,” said Kent Weiser, executive director of intercollegiate athletics.

Breidenthal, a teacher, banker, community leader and philanthropist, lives in Kansas City, Kan. His status as an Emporia State superfan was cemented early in his college years. He was a head yell leader, a member of Associated Student Government and Blue Key Honor Society at Kansas State Teachers College (now Emporia State University), earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 1972.

To say he’s an avid supporter of Hornet Women’s Basketball may be understating the case.

“What makes Emporia State stand out from the other schools is that the coaches really promote academics,” Breidenthal said.

“They realize athletics are great, but it’s really the student-athlete’s opportunity to get an education that’s important.”

Breidenthal has served on Emporia State’s Alumni Association board of directors and is a trustee emeritus of the Emporia State Foundation.

“It’s been a wonderful privilege to work with George as a Foundation trustee and see his commitment to Emporia State demonstrated through this very generous gift,” said DenaSue Potestio, Foundation president and vice president for university advancement.

For more information about opportunities to give to the Now & Forever campaign, contact Potestio at 620-341-5440.

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