James Stitt ‘73 and his wife, Carol, heard at 6 p.m. Sunday that their hometown team, St. Bonaventure, was coming to the UD Arena for the NCAA tournament’s #FirstFour.
The couple was defrosting in South Carolina from the New York cold and was preparing to fly home to Olean, New York.
But as self-proclaimed “basketball geeks” and lovers of the Flyers and Bonnies, their travel plans quickly changed and they were re-routed to Dayton for the Monday night game.
“We were coming to Dayton in a month anyway, so we just came early,” James Stitt said while sitting in UD Arena and taking in the second night of tournament play.
James Stitt is a trustee of St. Bonaventure and was planning on meeting with UD’s Flyer Enterprises to discuss student-run businesses, but in the name of basketball the meeting was moved up to coincide with Stitt’s new travel plans and the St. Bonaventure vs. UCLA game.
As the Bonnies are A-10 opponents of the Flyers, it is not often the New York State team receives cheers from the UD Arena stands. But on Tuesday, March 13, the atmosphere was different.
“Last night was a home court for us; it felt just like the Reilly Center,” Carol Stitt said.
St. Bonaventure won its first NCAA tournament game in 48 years last night, and the Stitts believe they owe part of the victory to UD.
“Thank you, UD students and fans, for the tournament support,” James Stitt said. Carol Stitt agreed: “UD gave us a home team advantage.”