Seattle Kraken players watch from the seats of the Climate Pledge Arena, in attendance for the Battle of Seattle | Gonzaga University

Sporting a red beanie and giving off more energy than his entire row put together, Branon Tanev – or Turbo as he’s so aptly nicknamed – was present for the “battle in Seattle” between No.3 Gonzaga and No.16 of the ‘Alabama at the Climate Pledge Arena.

Tanev, the Seattle Kraken’s left winger, was a first-time spectator inside Climate Pledge, where he is typically seen sliding and pushing opposing NHL skaters at the puck and smashing them against the boards.

He has seen a few NBA games, but it was the first high profile college basketball game he has watched in person.

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ 2021 expansion pick was with five other Kraken teammates, soaking up the energy a few rows back from the action on the pitch.

“It’s great, I mean the city of Seattle is a great sports city and we are seeing it again,” Tanev said. “It’s an amazing crowd, it’s good to be a part of it.”

It was the first time in nearly six years that the former Key Arena site had this level of men’s basketball talent to help shake the six-decade-old roof atop Climate’s new bones. Pledge.

The 29-year-old forward is from Toronto, Ont. – he comes from the same providence as three field players from the Bulldog and Crimson Tide combined teams.

Andrew Nembhard of GU is from Aurora, while AU has Charles Bediako of Brampton and Keon Ambrose-Hylton is also from Toronto.

Tanev was delighted to see his fellow citizens contribute to two of the top 25 programs.

“We have some great players in the NBA, it’s great to see a few Canucks here playing basketball,” Tanev said.

All six Kraken cheered on the Bulldogs, joining the over 18,000 fans in the arena mainly supporting the Interstate Zags.

Asked about his favorite player – excluding his compatriots – Tanev said he was a fan of leading rookie Chet Holmgren.

“He’s a great player and I can’t wait to watch him more,” Tanev said.

It may be a coincidence that Holmgren’s home state of Minnesota is dubbed “The State of Hockey.”

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