When you think of UAlbany and why you are here, most people will say for it’s cost, for it’s academic standing, or perhaps location. What most people do not say is for the sports environment. UAlbany isn’t a Syracuse where people enroll to have a good sports game every weekend, or to wear their orange proud everyday. Rather, Albany struggles to even get enrolled students to come to athletic events.
UAlbany has 8 varsity sports for men, and 11 for women.
Male Intercollegiate Sports: Baseball, basketball, football, soccer, lacrosse, cross-country and track and field.
Female Intercollegiate Sports: Softball, basketball, field hockey, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, golf, volleyball, cross-country and track and field.
Looking specifically at the success of our basketball teams, because currently both our men and women’s basketball teams are in a position of winning the America East tournament and gaining a NCAA tournament appearance…
Wednesday night the men’s basketball team clinched a semi final game in the America East Tournament after winning 83-66 against the Maine Blackbears at SEFCU Arena, 7:00 P.M ET.
For a UAlbany sporting event, the bleachers were packed. Fat heads floated around the crowd, while families and students flooded the seating. As someone who witnessed Sarah Royals, a senior on the UAlbany Women’s basketball team gain her 1,000 point victory to a practically empty gymnasium this winter, it was encouraging to see that UAlbany basketball fans do exist.
The accomplishments of these student-athletes shouldn’t go unnoticed, especially with the consistent years of a successful program.
I decided to interview a varsity athlete from UAlbany who was an attendee at the men’s basketball quarter-final game.
Kelly Kempf is a 21 year-old Communication and Sociology major from Wantagh, Long Island. Kempf is also a junior member, and co-captain of the UAlbany Women’s soccer team.
A: Not great. I know Coach Abe came to one of my classes this semester, soc of sport, and talked about how this school really lacks the school spirit for its sports teams. She is constantly thinking what will it take to get people to go to our games, and other team’s games.
Q: Do you think it is just an issue with women’s sports?
A: Absolutely not. Granted, UAlbany Women’s soccer could use different fans other than our parents, but…I think it’s all across the board.
Q: How would you say the atmosphere here is tonight?
A: I think great for our school.
Q: What do you think brought people to the game tonight?
A: I think we have a lot of noticeable faces, and success stories on the court tonight. Obviously, everyone is rooting for Peter and the Hooley’s in general, but also the leadership of Sam Rowley, and the young, exciting talent of Evan Singletary. They’re fun to watch.
The UAlbany Men’s basketball team has won 4 conference championships under the coaching of Will Brown. This season the Great Danes were the first seed in the America East Conference, claiming the regular season champs victory. This 2014-15 team represents GRIT, inside and out. Each player is on board, locked in, and willing to play for one another no matter what. And this alone has brought the UAlbany Men’s basketball program a loyal audience.