One of the greatest privileges enjoyed by UVA students is to be a fan of the men’s basketball team. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably noticed that we are pretty good. Currently ranked #3 in the country, UVA basketball is no longer an up-and-coming team. It has the capacity to compete with the very best. I believe that since we are this good and since Tony Bennett is such an awesome person it would be a total travesty to not take the opportunity to become a rabid fan while you’re a student at UVA. Therefore I have come up with a list of my top five moments as a UVA basketball fan.
5. Ranking in the top five has to be my first time experiencing a men’s basketball game at JPJ. The atmosphere is indescribable and the team can easily feed off of the energy of the fan base. Charlottesville loves UVA basketball. After my first game I was hooked and I have missed very, very few home games since then.
4. An opportunity I would recommend to any basketball fan is Ball with the Hoos. This event is held in the fall, prior to the basketball season. Students can participate in games like knockout and the three point challenge against actual players. Although my attempts to score points in these challenges were less than successful, it was still so much fun. All of the players are incredibly welcoming to their fellow students.
3. The most recent event on this list is ESPN College GameDay. Held this past Saturday at JPJ, the ESPN broadcast showcased the loyalty, craziness and intensity of the most rabid UVA fans. More than 5,100 people attended the event and brought creative signs and high-pitched screams in support of the basketball team. As this was the first time GameDay came to Charlottesville, I believe it is truly a testament to how far the program has come.
2. Meeting the team’s bus at JPJ after their win at the ACC tournament in Greensboro last March was absolutely incredible. It was freezing cold and snowing hard, yet fans still showed up and waited to congratulate the players in person. Honestly, it was probably the most excited I have ever been.
1. Number one on this list has to be watching the team win the ACC tournament title. It was a fitting sequel to an ACC regular season title. Although I did not attend the game in North Carolina, I still watched on TV in Charlottesville. That game was perfect. Last year’s season was nothing but historic and I know that the years to come will only further prove how deserving Virginia is of national recognition.- Megan Beissner