Insider in an athlete's world
I have attended college basketball games before, but I have never taken part in behind-the-scenes activities — until I attended NCAA First Four open team practice Monday, March 13, at UD Arena as a student writer for University of Dayton Magazine or UDQuickly.
I am a dancer. I know art events, and the day’s practice session felt like a dress rehearsal. Exploring the rooms and hallways felt like exploring backstage. Journalists and photojournalists from all over the country were busy at their laptops writing stories and jotting down notes or capturing the best shots from the basketball players on the court. I looked down and realized that these national reporters were wearing the same press credentials around their necks that I had dangling around mine.
I have never been a basketball person. Did the second- and sixth-grade boys sitting behind me have better basketball predictions? Without a doubt. But, through my reporter’s eye, I got to see the game as few do. I saw what it takes to put on such an event, from the woman whose job it is to sweep the floor after each practice session to the man dressed in black who guards the media refreshment area to a student whose task it is to refill water pitchers for press conferences.
I witnessed basketball as a high-production event and less as a sport. A basketball bounced way too close to my head, and I’ll never get used to the extremely loud buzzer, but I’m happy to have been an insider in an athlete’s world.