Almost four years passed since Kentucky at RMU? Time flies! I remember during my freshman year that the Wale concert would be the biggest thing to happen at the Sewall Center. I’m going through my photos to see what I missed and how horrible I was back then. If you’re just interested in the photos, scroll past my fun recount of the pregame.
I was on the fence about ordering a new camera after saving up for a bit. As soon as Kentucky at RMU was announced, I made my decision and also rented another lens. That Monday I ordered the camera and had it overnighted.
The morning of the game, I was waiting for my camera. I didn’t even know it shipped until that morning when I called B&H Photo. Making the half-hour commute back to my house was not going to happen with this jam-packed day.
I live 5 minutes from the UPS depot; I see upwards of 20 trucks pass my house each day. Luckily it arrived before I left for my first class.
I walked into my journalism class and our professor said he tweeted at the play-by-play guy, Bob Wischusen to come talk to our class. Five minutes into the class, we got a tweet to come on down.
I had my camera gear on me when this was going down, which caught the attention of Andy Toole while being interviewed before the game. You can’t be too sure these days. Bob Wischusen talked to us for a good while. We got to meet Jimmy Dykes and toured the broadcast truck.
Around that time I got a call from the rental place. My order was messed up but he was going to make it right and he’d deliver the stuff to campus a half hour before the game. The guy was based in Moon so instead I would come and pick the stuff up. I don’t think the guy would have made it on campus by then.
Before that, I went to dinner with Nick Buzzelli and we ended up at the same place the TV crew was, enjoying their first break since early in the morning.
After I ran over to pick up my gear. The guy said he’d loan me a Canon 1Dx and a 70-200 f4. Not a bad tradeoff! Brand new, I was about to have ten thousand dollars worth of equipment around my neck!
Buzz and I got back to campus around 5 o’clock. There was a line to get in Sewall going up the hill, something I never saw before. I was used to showing up a few minutes late and land a good parking place. Using the media excuse, we got a reasonable spot.
I remember we couldn’t get in through the top entrance in Sewall and we had to go pick up our passes at the never used doors closest to the entrance to campus. Although Sewall was quiet, the energy was building.
The crowd poured in. I could not imagine a louder atmosphere at Sewall and the game didn’t start for another hour. They needed extra tables for the media. Everything was covered with the NIT logo.
Every photographer headed to the side RMU was shooting first. I thought it would be a bit sparser down at the Kentucky end.
While testing out my gear, I kept getting hit with basketballs from the Kentucky pregame shoot around. It got to the point that I started tossing the basketballs back. It is what every guy wants, to be a part of the team. I felt cool!
I never was around basketball that much, but I could tell Kentucky was in cruise control. They missed a ton of shots during their shoot around.
Eventually the baseline I was on filled up, though it wasn’t two rows deep.
In my eighth grade yearbook, I put a picture in of Franco Harris and I at the groundbreaking of the August Wilson Center. I looked up and saw Franco walk in and sit behind me!
It was the hot ticket in town! I know students sold tickets anywhere from $20 to $100 a seat!
It was wild. A guy dressed as The Flash got to run on court to pump the crowd up. Moses parted the Red Sea.
Things were about to get real interesting!