Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Valentine's Day Bingo
February 24, 2024

    Local support for men's basketball starts on the home court

    With bleachers out and basketballs on the court, it seemed like a typical night for the Roy J. Carver Center. However, with the men’s basketball team in Salem, Va. their home court became an interactive viewing party. The Augustana community came together  at 4 p.m. to witness the men’s basketball team play in the Final Four championship against Babson College.
    “Our goal was definitely to enhance the spirit we’ve had on campus,” said Sam Slouch, director of public relations. “It’s been an amazing week and an amazing season in general for all of us interested in supporting the men’s basketball team. So, we’re here just to wish them the best of luck and cheer them on from home.”
    The atmosphere in the Vikings home court was just as active as any other afternoon where a basketball game would take place. Free pom-poms and handheld Augustana fans helped aid in the celebration. The concession stand was open and Augustana merchandise was being sold throughout the event. The support in the room was tangible, with stations allowing fans to make their own “Augie Spirit Poster.”
    Many students attended the viewing party because they were not able to leave campus for Salem, Va.
    “I really love basketball and going to almost all the basketball games this season I thought it would be a nice way to support the team even though I couldn’t make it all the way to Virginia,” said first-year Stacie Gill. “It’s a chance for Augustana to make history.”
    Even from hundreds of miles away, the mission was clear, rally the community for a historic moment.
    “During this past week once the team won its last set of games and knew we were headed to final four; we knew we had to do something for the Augustana community,” said Slouch. “We have a really huge presence that is there this weekend, but we wanted to make sure we had something for everyone who has been cheering on for the team since the start.”
    “I wanted to support my friends and watch the game even though I couldn’t make it to Virginia,” said first-year Katherine Donaldson. “On a scale from one to 10 in terms of how much this means to Augustana, I would say a 10 because any event, either sports or not, is really important to showcase school spirit and support one another.”
    Carver Center hosted music, a large projection screen for the game, as well as a sports-themed moon bounce for kids on the main floor.
    “Everyone is coming in as a school supporting one another as a team rather than just individually having Augie spirit,” said first-year Erica Kirinovic.
    Students, staff, and administration were in attendance. Overall, the event brought the Augustana community together, on the national stage, or watching it.
    “This game is huge for Augustana,” said Slouch. “We support our students in everything they do and this is just one asset of that, but by having our men’s basketball team on a national stage it elevates us in a way that isn’t easy to do.”

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    Local support for men's basketball starts on the home court