The Magic play the Knicks tonight but yesterday, they practiced at my alma mater Baruch College main gym arena named the ARC Arena. Throughout my four years playing for Baruch, I’ve seen many popular basketball teams practice in the gym through the athletic conference center windows above the main gym where all the coaches offices are. Sometimes, my team would enter our gym 15 min before practice to set up the volleyball nets and the basketball teams would still shoot around or get their feet untaped and knees iced as we set up the nets. Every year, the Big East tournament is held in early March and schools such as Louisville, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Villanova and Cincinatti would practice at Baruch. One time after a Pitt practice in 2009, they were having a slam dunk contest. Watching a Rick Pitino practice was very intense and strict with his fierce classy posture. It was a luxury to observe their practices and shoot arounds then my teammates and I would go practice after they end their practices, then we practice and they go back to their hotel rooms and after our practices would end around 7am, I would head out to the bars on Thursday nights and see the schools compete on ESPN the same night. Rarely NBA teams would practice at Baruch but I’ve only seen The Bucks and Mavs practice.
But yesterday was more special for Baruch student athletes when Orlando Magic left the facility and caused a rawkus among thousands of Baruch students. I guess it’s the lovable personality of superstar center Dwight Howard who is entering his final year with the Magic and there are hopes that the Knicks might sign him to fulfill the last all-star slot on the Knick roster which they can afford before the salary cap. As the Magic were leaving the gym to walk across the hallways and leaving through the sidedoor exits to enter their team bus, students awaited with hundreds of camera phones chanting “2012-2012-2012” as Howard walked out. Hmm, not bad Baruch students, you guys stired some hype and hopefully got into Howard’s head to come play for New York.
Link of Orlando Sentinel blog posting a video of Baruch Students chanting “2012!”:
Here are some photos my former teammates posted on twitter, FB and MMS: