Friday, October 23, 2009

Behind the Scenes: 49er Basketball Madness

Last night, Niner Nation converged upon Halton Arena for the celebration of another season of 49ers Basketball. The thousands in attendance watched Aysha Jones defeat Ian Anderson in the three-point contest and RaShad Coleman’s high-flying act in the dunk contest.

I had a slightly different experience than the attendees as I served as a cameraman for Lanaire Lindo, a member of the women’s track team and student worker in our office, while she interviewed fans, coaches and players. Our behind-the-scenes look at Madness took us all over Halton Arena on our conquest to interview as many people as possible.

Our night started with the student section as Lanaire interviewed hyped, amped and wired students that had arrived early to secure the best seats in Halton for Madness. After talking with several students we went directly to the source of the night’s entertainment; the men’s and women’s locker room to talk with the players.

Prior to entering the locker room, I could make out the sound of rap blaring in the men’s fancy digs (I believe it was Lil’ Wayne). Once we entered the locker room, we were treated to the men’s squad dancing and getting pumped up prior to Madness. The enthused team then explained to Lanaire why this year was going to be a special year for 49er Basketball.

Once we were done talking with the men’s team we trekked down the hall to the women’s locker room where the women doing the Elroy dance (check it out on YouTube) as they then explained to us what the fans can expect from the defending A-10 champs.

We then made it down the Halton Arena floor to interview the head coaches after they were introduced to the ecstatic crowd. I couldn’t hear what either coach had to say as the crowd was deafening as they cheered on Aysha Jones in the three-point contest.

I was able to take a break during the three-point and dunk contest to watch the festivities for myself and thought that sitting on the court near the men’s bench was a great idea. However a certain mascot who will remain nameless thought it would be a better idea to accidentally trip over yours truly due to his limited sight.

After that embarrassing interaction with the previously mentioned mascot we were able to get interviews with Coleman and Jones about their triumphs in their respective events.

We capped the night by talking with a former 49er great, Rodney White, who was in attendance to watch his former squad start their 09 season. Following the talk with Mr. White we ended with Athletic Director Judy Rose and her thoughts on the event.

All in all I called the night a ‘great success’ which could only have been made better by coach Lutz rocking the mustache but that will have to wait for hopefully the season opener in 21 days.

-- Patrick McCoy, 49ers Media Relations --

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