John Schulte, or “Panon”, got his grand introduction to college basketball during the 1983 NCAA Tournament. As a toddler watching the Lute Olson-led Iowa Hawkeyes battle the Villanova Wildcats in the round of 16, one player stuck out to Panon. He wasn’t wearing Black and Gold, which you might expect from an Iowa native. It was John Pinone, Villanova’s big 6’8″, 228 pound (that was a lot back then) forward know as “The Bear” for his power, strength, and agility. Turns out, Panon’s family saw some similarities between the two. Throw in a few extra pounds of baby fat (imitating “The Bear”) and a child learning to speak (guess what his favorite word was following that game), and you’ve got a lifetime nickname.
Panon eventually grew up, trying his hand at several different sports. Whether it was on the field, court, course, or track, Panon tried it all. Coming to Omaha in the late 90s, Panon got his first in-person experience with Creighton sports at the Birdcage in the Civic (sorry, soccer fans, but Tranquility was tough to get to for a freshman without a car). Just as more and more fans began attending home basketball games, Panon became a bigger fan of CU athletics as a whole. After trying many sports firsthand and covering a few different sports from some local Omaha area broadcast booths, Panon is excited to try his hand at yet another new and exciting sports venture.