Thursday, March 21, 2013

drum roll please

Soooooooo you are probably sick of hearing about BYU basketball games but I don't care.. I'm in control here so this is another post about it.

We played the #2 team, Gonzaga a couple weeks ago. Our group set up the tent Sunday night and camped all throughout the week. We were the first tent in line (out of what turned out to be a whopping 70 tents!!) and I spent 11+ hours at the tent that week for the game. When game day arrived I couldn't focus on anything. I hadn't been that excited for a game since high school I think. I was just so antsy and could not sit still for the life of me. My classes dragged on and on and the day just crept by. After tap was over, I ran up to the Marriott Center and I was in the greatest mood! I was so happy to be there with these awesome people! They were giving out pizza and a drink called Randalls? I had one once this season and it was very good. I think another reason that I was so happy was because this was the first day in over a week that my head wasn't pounding.. I felt good! Finally we got into the Marriott Center after waiting a while and I was on the second row. We were let in 2 hours before game time so that time was spent socializing, watching a dunking contest (below), taking pictures, and talking to athletes.
Arielle and I got Cody Hoffman to take a picture with us and sign our hats which was really fun. Our roommate Ingunn thinkings he's the hottest thing to grace planet Earth so we took the picture with her in mind.

The game was pretty close the entire time. It was SO loud that night. I don't think there wasn't a person that wasn't yelling! That was definitely the loudest it had ever been when I've been in attendance. I was loving it. About halfway through the game my mom texted me and said, "You know that Gonzaga's #13, (their best player) Olynyk is Canadian. And that his dad was your dad's coach in university?" I had no idea! So after this I was like, well his parents are probably here so I should see if I can by some miracle find them. After that I paid close attention to the small section of Gonzaga fans that were near to us (mostly the parents. They had a student section wayyyy at the top.) I found this couple sitting on the front row that looked like they were cheering this Olynyk player on a lot so I thought maybe this was my dad's coach and his wife.. I was trying to plot my way over to them but couldn't think of how I would get there. When the game was tied at 60 people were saying, "storm the court if we win." I thought to myself, ohhhh I can just jump onto the court and walk over there if we win! That'll be perfect. Wellllllll, as you probably know, we didn't win. I did, however, sneak onto the court after the game and went over to these people. Our conversation went as follows. 
Me: "Hi, are you Olynyk's parents?"
Lady: "No, we aren't."
Me: "Dangit! I was hoping you were because Olynyk's dad coached my dad in university so I just wanted to come over and meet him." 
Lady: "Oh that's so cool! Lets find out if they came!" She then called over this guy who apparently keeps tabs on the player's parents. Unfortunately they weren't at the game that night.. 
Lady: "You should definitely talk to Kelly (Olynyk) though. He should be coming back out onto the floor pretty soon. Just stick around. I'm sure he'd love to talk to you!"
Me: "That'd be awesome. Thanks so much for your help!"

So I went back to my friends and waited for this Kelly Olynyk fellow to come out of the locker room. After what seemed like FOREVER, he finally emerged from the tunnel and I scurried over to his 7 foot self and lightly tapped on his arm and said, "Hey can I talk to you for a second? It will only take a minute." 
Kelly: "Uhhh I have radio right now so only if its fast."
Me: "Ya I'll be quick. Your dad coached my dad in university basketball so my dad wanted me to come  say hi and to tell you to tell your dad that my dad says hi."
Kelly: "Oh really? That's awesome! Where did your dad play?"
Me: "University of Lethbridge." 
Kelly: "So is that where you are from?"
Me: "I'm from Cardston. Its like 45 minutes south of Lethbridge." 
Kelly: "And you go here?"
Me: "Ya I do!"
Kelly: "Awesome. What's your dad's name?"
Me: "Ken McMurray. Be sure to tell your dad that he says hi. He would love that!"
Kelly: "I will! What's your name?"
Me: "Chelan McMurray." As he shakes my hand.
Kelly: "Cool. It was nice to meet you. I'll tell my dad for ya."
Me: "Thank you so much! It was good to meet you too. Great game tonight."

After this conversation, I went back to my friends and told them about our conversation. They then proceeded to tell me that Kelly Olynyk is one of the best players in college basketball right now.. Had I known he was THAT good I probably wouldn't have had the courage to talk to him. Anyway, that was a really cool part of my night. (Also, I called my Nana recently just to talk and I told her this story about my conversation with this ball player and the day after my chat with her, he was featured in the Lethbridge Herald for being a candidate for the national player of the year in the NCAA! Holy Smokes!)

And then this happened too.. 

I also got Superbowl winner and former BYU football player, Dennis Pitta to sign my hat. Cool right? It was just a great night even though we lost. The atmosphere was great and I was surrounded by such great people. 

Ok switching gears now.. Speaking of those great people I was surrounded by I just wanna say a huge thank you. Specifically to a few people. 

Trent Boulter. Thank you so so so much for letting me be in your group this season. I am so glad to have met you and gotten to know you this season. Thanks for always being so understanding and working with schedules to help everyone get to the games and have good seats. Thank you for being so organized and getting all the tent stuff situated. Its because of you that I have all of these awesome stories and memories that I will cherish forever! You are such an awesome person and I am so lucky to have met you! I'm sad that your reign as king of the roc has come to an end :( But I am so happy that I got to be a small part of it for a season! I really can't thank you enough! 
There he is photo bombing like the pro he is :)

Rosie and Josh Skinner. I love you both so much. I am just so happy that Arielle and I were at that first game on the second row and that you guys didn't mind our craziness! I'm so glad that we got to hold Harry Potter and that because Ari started casting spells, you decided that was when you wanted to ask Trent if we could be in the group haha Thank you for being so happy all the time! You guys are rays of sunshine and it just makes me happy to be around you! I'm so glad to call you two my friends and hope that our friendship will continue even though this basketball season has come to an end! I love you guys :)
Josh, Rosie, President Samuelson, and me :)

And last but not least. Trevor, Jakie, and sometimes Todd. You three. What a hoot! I am so glad we have become such good friends this season. Getting to know you boys has been so fun. I'm glad that we were friends outside of basketball too :) It has been fun hanging out with you guys a lot and getting to know you all. I am a better person as a result of knowing you guys. Thanks for putting up with our craziness and being so fun so be around! I am so glad I know y'all. Thanks for the memories boys! 
There are many other people that I got to know while sitting in the tent but I fear this post is too long already so I won't mention them. Just know that even if I didn't write a specific note to you or mention your name, you are still important to me and hold a special place in my heart. I really can't believe that this basketball season is coming to a close. It has been so darn fun and I am just so blessed to have been able to spend it on the front row, but more importantly, surrounded by such amazing people. I will never forget the basketball season that I sat on the front row. #frontrowcrazies #forevs hahahaha

Pictures. Its a must.