Last Saturday was Homecoming week, and the Seattle University Men’s Basketball team hit Key Arena to take on Utah Valley. Before the game, there was a rally featuring free food, dance moves from the cheerleaders and a speech from the coach.
“If you’re younger than me, you need to be standing the whole time,” head coach Jim Hayford said to the crowd gathered below. “We need you.”
The drum line sent everyone off to the stands to watch the men compete. Key Arena was more crowded than usual, and the night started out with the lights off and a spotlight shining on the starters as their names were announced.
The score was tight the whole time, especially towards the end of the game. With 18 seconds left, the Redhawks were down by one point. Utah Valley fouled #10 Richaud Gittens, and he stepped up to the free throw line and sank both shots, bringing the score to 55-54 in favor of the Redhawks.
In the last second of the game, Utah Valley chucked up a three pointer, and with wide eyes and breaths held, the fans and players watched the ball fly through the air towards the basket. The shot was no good, and as the buzzer sounded the arena broke out in cheers.
Guard, Morgan Means (#1), drives down the court past Utah Valley’s guard, Ben Nakwaash (#10).
“The Redhawks won Homecoming and everyone is leaving Key Arena happy tonight,” Hayford said after the game. “For us to get this win, it means something because that was a quality opponent.”
The team is a close-knit bunch, and they support each other through wins and losses.
“I wouldn’t have had the confidence if it wasn’t for my teammates,” said Gittens when reflecting on the free throws he made at the end of the game. “We’re just a brotherhood and we all stay together. I love every last one of my teammates.”
Coach Hayford also notices that the team dynamic this year is great.
“The guys are really playing for one another,” Hayford said. “Last night I sent them to a nice restaurant and they had a great dinner together and made some promises to each other, so it’s neat that 24 hours later they could get that win together.”
The crowd was pumped during the exciting game – especially the men’s swim team who sat court side in booty shorts with “Let’s go Redhawks” written across their chests.
“The crowd was great.” Gittens said. “I think that’s the most fans I’ve seen in Key Arena since we started playing here.”
The crowd left the arena, content with the exciting game and the Redhawk win.
“It’s neat how sports can unify people and get them all excited,” Hayford said. “It all went our way tonight.”
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