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UNIVERSITY PRESS

Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Men’s Basketball: FAU students camp outside Baldwin Arena ahead of Tuesday’s home opener

Students camped outside the arena for the first home basketball game of the season. They got a surprise visit from head coach Dusty May.
Fans+wait+outside+the+Eleanor+R.+Baldwin+Arena+for+FAU%E2%80%99s+home+opener+against+Eastern+Michigan+on+Tuesday%2C+Nov.+14%2C+2023.
Matthew Vogdes
Fans wait outside the Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena for FAU’s home opener against Eastern Michigan on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023.

A year ago, FAU men’s basketball 2022-23 season home opener versus Lynn University only filled 1,314 of the 2,900 seats at Eleanor R. Baldwin Arena. Now, after an unimaginable journey to the Final Four, head coach Dusty May had to personally deliver donuts to satisfy the droves of students camping out for tickets ahead of Tuesday’s home-opener against Eastern Michigan University.

Student tickets are first come, first serve this year, leaving students with the only option of getting to the arena early.

 “We did this mostly to show our spirit for FAU basketball. We want to be in the front row and be right there,” said freshman Jordan Lasky.

After the record-setting season last year, school spirit is at an all-time high.

Lasky said the Final Four appearance last season was the leading factor in his decision to come to FAU. He wanted a school with sports he could get excited for.

Cots, sleeping bags and tents are scattered around the arena. Rainy weather dampened the environment and challenged the campers, but their spirits remained high.

A lot of them awoke to rain this morning. They were camping in the grass but needed to move under the covering outside the arena to stay dry.

Sophomore Noah Wagner explained that it began raining at around 4 a.m. and has continued periodically.

“They’re scared of the elements,” Lasky said jokingly,

While the rain was frustrating, their main two struggles were food and sleep.

Wagner said they had to DoorDash a lot of food, including McDonald’s and a box of 50 snack-sized chips, which are dispersed around the arena doors.. 

Head coach Dusty May brought students doughnuts and shirts. May told them he was happy they were supporting the team and adding to the basketball culture.

At 11:30 a.m., only eight were still camping there.

“We’re keeping people here but we’re rotating who’s going to class and staying,” explained sophomore Benny Lee.

Wagner decided to skip his 8 a.m. class to stay there to show his spirit.

Lasky and Lee both said they were running off an hour of sleep. Despite the lack of sleep, all three said they still have a lot of energy.

“We were all having fun, so sleeping wasn’t a priority,” said Lee. “I was sad when a bunch of people tried to go to sleep.”

The three described it as a great bonding experience. They learned much more about each other and became much closer because of it.

While it was fun, they said that this is not something they will be doing frequently.

“I need my sleep,” said Lasky.

Lee explained they might camp out for some big-time games, but from now on, they likely will be getting there a few hours before. But for the home opener, it was necessary.

“We want this to become a trend at FAU, other schools do this such as Duke [University] and [University of North Carolina.] All the major basketball schools do this,” said Lasky. “We want to start it because we are going to be a big basketball school now, so we want to start something new here.

Megan Bruinsma is a staff writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email her at [email protected] or DM her on Instagram @megan_bruinsma.

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Megan Bruinsma
Megan Bruinsma, Sports Editor
Megan is a junior majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in sports studies. She has grown up with a passion for watching and playing sports. She’s excited to continue her journey of learning how to cover sports in a professional sense. Megan has hopes to become a sports reporter for an NFL or NBA team.

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