I have never been able to appreciate the grandeur of sports and am ashamed to say that I have only been to one UD basketball game. But my respect and appreciation for sports changed when I covered the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Championship #FirstFour open team practice on Monday, March 12, at UD Arena.
Although the games had not yet begun, March Madness was drawing people from all over the Dayton area and country to watch the teams practicing during open gym sessions.
While the crowds were not nearly as impressive as those during games, there were enough fans to give the teams an audible audience.
Alumni, UD fans, out-of-state visitors and families could make a day out of the whole experience, whether rooting for their favorite team or simply because they love the game.
Talking to spectators, snapping photos, listening in on press conferences and simply getting to be in the same room as all the teams made me realize the importance of the First Four to the city of Dayton and made me feel lucky for getting to be a part of it.
Being on the inside of such a massive event gave me newfound respect for the sport and made me proud to be a living in Dayton, where the beginning to men’s championship basketball begins.