When Mark Neveau and his family get together to watch the games, there’s a good chance that four generations of Warriors fans are in the same room. Not only has this family bonded over their love of basketball, but they’ve also used the Bay’s team as a standard of behavior and teamwork. From embarrassing birthday celebrations for his teenage daughter to a grandmother going to her first game at age 92, Mark’s family is full of pleasant surprises.
MN: My name is Mark Neveau and I’ve been a Warriors fan since I was 14 years old. I used to go to the games at the Oakland Coliseum back when it wasn’t the popular thing to do. You saw some of the NBA’s best talent, unfortunately it was usually on the other team. But going was about the spirit inside the arena. The venue would sell out most of the time. People were rowdily cheering, and you got caught up in the enthusiasm of it all. That was part of it. We rarely won. It was a long playoff drought, but you still went to the games because we loved it. As I grew older, we partnered up with friends to become season ticket holders. We are very fortunate.
GSW: Do you have a favorite fan moment that others may not know about?
MN: One of the best moments was when [my daughter] Whitney turned 16 years old. We took her to a game and had her named displayed on the jumbotron at halftime. When her name popped up, her mom took a bunch of confetti and threw it all over where we were sitting to celebrate her 16th birthday. Whitney was so embarrassed, she just wanted to crawl under the seat. Now, as we look back, 15 years later, she truly appreciates the effort because her Mom died early in her life. It’s one of the best memories she has of her Mom, it was a wonderful moment.
GSW: What does it mean to you to be a part of a family that has multiple generations of Warriors fans?
MN: When we started out, it was more than just enjoying the sport. The Warriors were here in the East Bay, it was a working persons team. As the dynasty grew so did the fan enthusiasm, ultimately sweeping up my 95 year old mother. I took her to only NBA game, a 2016 playoff game. She loved it, got her faced painted and met Mitch Richmond. Now she calls me and updates me on the score of the given games. These are moments that are special. We’ve even come full circle. Now I get to share it with my grandson (born on Game 1 of the 2017 Finals), my son and daughter. It’s not just about the team. It’s about the entire Warrior organization and the quality of individuals that play for the team. That’s the lesson I can share with my family. It’s not just about sports, this is about life and how you conduct yourself, how you give back and all the things that come with it. The Warrior’s organization exemplifies that philosophy. It’s for real!
GSW: It’s great that you appreciate that.
MN: Because of my job, I have an appreciation for growing an organization and the values you must create. That doesn’t just happen; that’s not an easy thing to do. There must be chemistry, there must be leadership and willingness. There’s a lot of things that come with that. That’s another reason I appreciate the Warriors. How they’ve been able to do that. From a managerial perspective, it’s wonderful.
GSW: Yes, it’s amazing how the team’s philosophy extends to the classroom, family and other areas in life.
MN: I think it’s important, not just for local fans, but for people across the world to appreciate this team. Look beyond the team’s sporting headlines. Look at the character of the individuals. Read about them. Learn about them. You’ll see that the character of the individuals is what leads to their success on the court.