Come all ye faithful

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Alyssa Synakowski, Assistant Sports Editor, @synakowsk

Students weigh in on what motivates them to attend men’s basketball games

The UCCU Center buzzes with excitement on Thursdays and Saturdays. There is an energy that lifts spectators out of their seats. It is game day for the winning Utah Valley University men’s basketball team.

UVU averages over 2,000 fans at the men’s games. Why do so many students take time to go to the games?

“The fans, the cheerleaders, especially the dancers even more, and especially my friends,” said Clint Madsen, a UVU student.

Madsen, with a group of friends, started going to UVU men’s games this semester. They shout, they cheer, and they bleed green for their team.

Addison Shurtz explained that he and his friends have recently been reunited after serving LDS Missions for two years.

“It’s a great time to be with my friends again, to get involved with the university and I just like to be loud,” Shurtz said.

Students with current UVU ID Cards have free admissions to athletic events, but that is just an added bonus to these fans. They love to see their team play with intensity, hit the ground going after loose balls and make contested 3-pointers.

“I especially think No. 12 is amazing and 34 is a beast,” Madsen said.

Holton Hunsaker wears 12 and is the starting point guard for UVU. He is the leading scorer for the team with 13.1 points per game and averages four assists. On Feb. 6, Hunsaker scored a team season-high 29 points in a 79-68 win at Grand Canyon.

No. 34 for UVU is starting 6-foot-9 center Ben Aird. He is the leading rebounder for the team, averaging 7.6 a game. In the Feb. 13 contest against Seattle University, Aird hit a 3-pointer late in the first half but spent most of the game on the low post, calling for the ball with defenders on his back. He finished the game with 20 points and seven rebounds.

“Hayes for days,” said Chad Jacox, a student fan.

Hayes Garrity is the team’s sixth man. He comes off the bench to average 9.8 points and can play either point guard or shooting guard.

Lexi Robison, a starting midfielder for the women’s soccer team, comes to games to show support for her fellow student-athletes.

“I love UVU athletics. I’m a part of the athletics program, and I love supporting the other teams,” she said.

The bustling student section has a lot of love for its team, currently ranked first in the WAC. Joe Lundardi, an ESPN analyst known for his bracketology, has UVU in the NCAA Tournament in his latest March Madness predicition.

The Wolverines have only four remaining home games this season before they make their way to Las Vegas for the Western Athletic Conference tournament. The team as they hope to make history this season by winning the league automatic bid and make it to its first NCAA tournament.

It is an exciting time to be a fan of UVU men’s basketball team.

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