The Birth of "Big-Time:" a Behind the Scenes Look at the Creation of New Women's and Men's Intramural Basketball Championships at Virginia State University

By Bey, Leon Wright; Foundation, Andree et al. | VAHPERD Journal, Fall 2012 | Go to article overview

The Birth of "Big-Time:" a Behind the Scenes Look at the Creation of New Women's and Men's Intramural Basketball Championships at Virginia State University


Bey, Leon Wright, Foundation, Andree, Todd, Alex, VAHPERD Journal


The night falls, the bright lights glow, and spectators begin to pour in to Daniel Gymnasium to watch a double-header that will feature some of the most talented women's and men's basketball players at Virginia State University (VSU). As they find their seats, fans are noticeably jamming to the pulsating sounds of the "DJ" who's "turning it up" on this beautiful March (2012) evening.

In the midst of this electrifying atmosphere, players, who are "decked out" in brand new specially designed jerseys, warm up at either end of the court while the attention-grabbing VSU "Woo Woo" Cheerleaders get ready to "rock the house." Not far from the VSU well-staffed scorer's table, the game officials and coaches are preparing for "tip-off," the VSU Color Guard is preparing for its grand entrance, and a student vocalist is gearing-up for his rendition of the National Anthem. At the same time, "event presentation" coordinators, who are courtside, finalize plans for half-time, and other activities, while the "Concessions Stand" is starting to attract customers.

Seated at a special table on the opposite side of the court, is a veteran evaluator who will rate the performance of the three officials who will work each game. Near her, the owner of the American Basketball Association's (ABA) highly-ranked Richmond Elite Professional Basketball Team sits with her players in a "VIP Section" while the team's coaches, who have come out to scout potential VSU men's players are accommodated in the same area.

Upon the completion of the preliminary activities, players on each team move to the "Center Circle," and, on cue, one of the game officials tosses into the air a striking red, white, and blue basketball (see embedded photo), the same type that is normally used during professional ABA games. That "jump ball setting" and the other scenes that were extracted from the aforementioned double-header were not the only things that gave this event a "Big-Time" appearance.

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[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Perhaps surprisingly, the players who earned the right to participate in these exhilarating contests were not the "top-notch ballers" spectators are accustomed to seeing executing plays or running through drills during typical high-level practices. Although the professional atmosphere in which they were competing had trappings that are usually associated with sanctioned conference championships or other such events, these participants were not members of the institution's collegiate men's or women's basketball teams.

They were however, some of VSU's most gifted intramural basketball stars whose followers would usually find "throwing down" during late evening indoor games or "shooting the rock" on one of VSU's outdoor basketball courts. Normally these "superstars," who had battled their way through tough intramural playoff brackets, are unaccustomed to receiving the type of exposure that "varsity" players are routinely afforded.

On this night however, they were treated like basketball royalty. Playing in "prime time" before a roaring crowd of 1,200+ fans, players on these final two women's and men's teams put on a "show to remember" and became a part of VSU history by competing in the institution's "1st Annual Intramural Basketball Championships (IBC)."

This inaugural free event was presented by three VSU entities: the Department of Student Activities (DSA), the HPERD/Sport Management Majors Club (Club), and the Undergraduate Sport Management Program. The great success of these intramural championship games reflects the unity that exists between those three entities while underscoring the need for, and students' interest in such wholesome and exciting recreational activities. An additional advantage of hosting this event on the VSU campus was that it gave Sport Management, Recreation, Mass Communications and other students the type of real-life experience that they will likely need to compete for positions in today's highly competitive marketplace. …

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