We got the basketball season off to an early start this year…sort of. A few weeks ago, the IUPUI Jaguars decided to hold the first-ever alumni game, which was held last night at The Jungle. Inside of three weeks, the program assembled an event featuring several players from the past 10-15 years of Jaguars basketball in the D-I era, including a recognition of former players in attendance from the IUPUI Metros era. Indiana Pacers guard and former Jaguars player George Hill suited up and took a spot on the bench. Not surprisingly, he did not play. I’m sure the Pacers nixed that idea.
The atmosphere was considerably looser than a home game. We had a decent crowd and the players were having fun. Blair Crawford has his signature mop of curly hair. Angelo Smith looks like he could still suit up and play. Josh Murray put on a little more muscle and still had some hops. Akeem Clark still has his perimeter shot. Jaguars Hall-of-Famer Carlos Knox took a lot of the younger guys to school tonight too!
The most challenging aspect of the game for me was simply rolling with it. I wouldn’t grade my performance higher than a C-. Exhibition games are, by design, looser affairs. From a PA standpoint, that means being looser. People laugh at my in-season preparation because it’s pretty rigid. I have everything scripted out to the second. A game of this sort—where nothing is scripted—requires a more zen approach. I’ll have to work on that ahead of our Red-White scrimmage.
There was a time I was a pretty sharp extemporaneous speaker. I suppose I get too comfortable with scripts behind the mic. Time to development that aspect of my game.
If we do this alumni game again in the future—and I hope we do—we’ll have to tighten up a few aspects, just to give proper attention to those who deserve it. The intros tonight felt rushed and slightly disorganized. That’s no one’s fault. But next year, we’ll have to change things up a bit to make it a more fan-friendly game.Off the top of my head…
Retro Metro Props. In the pre-game, have a bit more of an “official” ceremony honoring these guys. They deserve it.
Honorary Coaches. George Hill would be one of them. He basically assumed that role tonight.
“Special” refs. Just a thought. Get some local personality to “officiate” the game.
In-game Interviews. This is not a regular game. PA needs more to more interactive. Involve some local radio personalities or something to talk to players and coaches throughout the game.
Nevertheless, I’m glad we did this tonight. It was fun to see the guys again.