Park Ridge, IL


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About Me

And the Crowd Goes Wild

January 31, 2017

Have you ever wondered how at college basketball games students get chosen to participate in the skills challenges or half-court shot? Well, a couple weeks ago my friend Sam took on the Papa John’s Pizza Shootout during the UR men’s basketball team’s game against George Mason.

One of Sam’s friends works for the game day operations team at basketball games and so he had asked Sam if he wanted to give the shootout a try. With plans already to go to the game and a silky jump shot to his name, Sam gladly accepted the offer.

About midway through the first half, Sam made his way down from the student section to an area behind one of the baskets. Richmond then called a timeout and so it was show time. A woman walked onto the court, introduced Sam, and explained the rules of the game: he had a limited amount of time (I think about 1 minute) to make a layup, free throw, three-pointer, and half-court shot. Each made field goal would earn sections of the crowd pizza: pizza for himself if he made the layup, for his row if the free throw, for the student section if the three-pointer, and for the whole crowd if he could sink the half-court shot.

Sam holding the ball moments before the shootout began. 

He got off to a quick start, knocking down the layup and free throw with ease. Then, it took him a few tries to nail the three. With some time still left on the clock, he jogged over to the half-court line and launched the ball towards the basket. Despite a number of attempts, the clock ran out before he could hit the half-court shot. Nonetheless, the student section cheered loud, knowing they had free pizza awaiting them after the game.

The Spiders trailed for most of the game but made a great comeback in the second half. Unfortunately, they fell short in the final minutes of regulation. So while many fans shuffled out of the stadium sad the team couldn’t pull out the win, there were still plenty students with subtle grins on their faces, relishing in what could possibly be one of the best consolation prizes for a group of hungry college kids: free pizza. 

My name is Joe. I am currently a freshman at the University of Richmond. I plan to major in Business (concentration undecided) and to minor in Creative Writing. I consider myself a man of diverse interests. I find just as much enjoyment in playing basketball as I do staying home to read a book. In terms of music, I'll listen to most anything, whether it's Frank Sinatra, today's top 100 hits, old school rap, or anything in between. Same goes for movies. New movies, old movies, black-and-white movies, action movies, romantic comedies, serious dramas. It doesn't matter; I'll watch them all (and often choose to). Aside from that, I'm simply excited to be at UR and to be able to share my experiences with prospective students, fellow classmates, and anyone else who may care to follow along.

Why UR?

A simple answer to the question "Why UR?" would be to say that it just felt right. Though, whereas that isn't inaccurate, I know how vague and frustrating an answer like that can be for readers. So, I will try to explain myself. The University of Richmond, as I researched it more and more, became continually more appealing. Every new thing I learned became another reason to attend. (That certainly was not the case with other schools.) I didn't have to wrestle with thoughts like, "I guess I can live with that" or "Maybe it won't seem like that when I'm actually there." In fact, even viewing the university with a critical eye, it was difficult to find something bad to say about it. That may sound like I'm simply affirming my final decision, but it's not easy to answer that question without directly showing someone what I'm trying to articulate. UR is a place that, although ripe for descriptive writing, must be experienced firsthand to truly understand. That, I believe, says more than any list of reasons ever could.