Sports management students from the University of Dayton spent their Tuesday afternoon taking part in a #FirstFour media tour at UD Arena. As credentialed participants, the students attended Syracuse’s press conference, which featured players Tyus Battle and Frank Howard and head coach Jim Boeheim.
Shannon Miller, associate director of news and internal communications at UD, encouraged the students to ask questions. They might be students, but that day, they were members of the media, she reminded them. Miller initiated the student site visit opportunity during the 2016 #FirstFour.
The press conference kicked off with the first round of questions for the players. Seasoned journalists hit the ground running by asking questions about the team’s strategy for the upcoming game.
Then it was Boeheim’s turn to take the stage for the head coach’s press conference. The students took advantage of their opportunity and asked the Hall of Fame coach some questions.
Their curiosities included challenges the team would face when playing Arizona State on Wednesday and Boeheim’s opinion on playing a team coached by a player he tried to recruit to Syracuse — Bobby Hurley, who went on to become a star at Duke and win two NCAA titles. The students also asked Boeheim how this team’s dynamic differed from past teams and the status of injured players before the big game.
In years past, Miller didn’t remember any students asking questions.
Marcos Ledesma, a sophomore sports management major from Puerto Rico, was the first of four students in the group to ask Boeheim a question. Initially, he was hesitant and almost backed out.
“I was super nervous to ask Coach Boeheim a question, but then one of my classmates sitting next to me bumped me and told me to do it,” said Ledesma. “It was awesome to interview him, he’s such a legend in basketball. I came here last year to watch the games but to be on the other side this year is an amazing experience.”