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Basketball diaries: by a new fan

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Mesa Journal Managing Editor Ana Ruth Lugo Mejia arrives in Allen, Texas for the Lone Star Tournament Men's Basketball games.

Mesa Journal Managing Editor Ana Ruth Lugo Mejia arrives in Allen, Texas for the Lone Star Tournament Men's Basketball games.

Mesa Journal Managing Editor Ana Ruth Lugo Mejia arrives in Allen, Texas for the Lone Star Tournament Men's Basketball games.

Ana Ruth Lugo Mejia, Multi-Media Managing Editor

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Cassie Rivera

Fans are unhappy with a call at the Men's Basketball final tournament championship in Allen, Texas.

Congratulations to the Men’s Basketball Team on the Lone Star Conference Tournament Championship!  Next stop, NCAA South Central Regional Conference in Golden, Colorado!  The Falcons will play on Saturday, March 11 at 2:30 I came to work unaware of what was to follow. Friday, March 3 is a date I will probably remember since, of course, I am writing about it but it will be on my mind for a long time

I work for the Mesa Journal News and you can say I have done a little bit of everything or so I thought. I like covering events and lately, I have enjoyed doing interviews but I had never covered anything sports related.

This is not because I hate sports or do not like sports, because I really enjoy watching sports action.

So I get to work and of course the topic of conversation turned to how great the University of Texas of the Permian Basin Men’s Falcon Basketball Team was doing and the trip some students could make to Allen, Texas, to support the team.

So out of nowhere, I said, “I wish I could go” and just like that my wish came true.

Of course, everything comes with a price. I got to travel as a reporter. But when I think about it, it was really no big deal. You just get a chance to document the stories of other people’s accomplishments and it makes you feel like you are part of everything transpiring.

And it was worth it, those six hours on the way to Allen and then back to Odessa on a bus, the part where you have to share a room with three other people, and the fact where you have to work didn’t seem to matter that much.

I remembered a couple of years ago I was wondering how those people got to sit in those tables on the side of the court. Now I know why. Media.

It was so exciting to get to witness a part of history in the making. The UTPB Men’s basketball team has accomplished so much this season. And I have no doubt they will go even further.

The first game was exciting to watch from the court and the fans did not disappoint. We have some really dedicated fans. One of them is “Big Nasty” (who goes shirtless with the words: “Big Nasty” scrawled upon his chest as he leads fans in cheers). What’s funny though is that he sat in front of me on the bus and I didn’t realize it was him. He and the other students cheered throughout both games nonstop.

Finally, the day of the big game came. Believe or not I was anxious and nervous. I felt as if I was playing. I could see the players’ faces and they showed no fear, no regret. They were ready, they were focused, and they knew they had to win. They were there to win. Win or win was written on their faces. I remembered telling Mesa Journal photojournalist Cassie Rivera that we were already the champions and she looked at me and said: “There’s still five minutes left, anything can happen.” However, this time, nothing changed. Nothing would stop the Falcons. The final score for the Falcons was 93-85.

During that time (you wouldn’t believe it) but I was holding my cell phone on one hand, live streaming the event, and on the other the video camera (which I have been learning to use the last couple of days). It isn’t as easy as it looks, but it is neither a complex thing you can’t comprehend.

Watching the team play directly from the court is so much different. I was able to witness the level of concentration and teamwork our Falcons have.  It was not until the last second of the final game that I saw them smile and laugh out of happiness and joy. It was not until then that they let go knowing that the goal was reached.

Overall it was a learning experience, an unforgettable adventure and a memory that will last forever.

Ana Ruth Lugo Mejia
A T-shirt and press pass are depicted in this photo.

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “Basketball diaries: by a new fan”

  1. Valerie Hammit on March 8th, 2017 5:43 pm

    Great story!! So happy to hear you are fitting right in and making the most of your college experience!! GO FALCONS!

    [Reply]

  2. Linda Montgomery on March 8th, 2017 8:16 pm

    Great story – I felt your excitement and passion! Go Falcons!

    [Reply]

  3. Joe on March 10th, 2017 12:32 am

    Great to hear your experience and you brought to life the resolve of The Team. Each person on the UTPB Team has a story, that story has made each one of them strong People and Players. Watching UTPB mens Basketball team put their personal life experiences together is what has made them a strong team. Great Job by all the players and Coaches, Go Falcons!!!!

    [Reply]

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Basketball diaries: by a new fan