One of the last things on a player’s mind before a game is how he or she will get to the court.
But for the men’s basketball team Sunday, the transit to the BB&T Classic matchup against Virginia Commonwealth University was a big part of its experience playing at the Verizon Center.
Rather than taking a charter bus to the game, head coach Mike Lonergan and his team rode the Metro to the landmark venue, accompanied by several dozen fans and members of the GW Spirit Program and Colonial Brass. Ducking down to fit through the Metro doors, the players seemed relaxed and joked with fans as they packed the car.
Graduate student forward Jabari Edwards offered his seat to any ladies who wanted to sit down, and freshman forward John Kopriva joked with sophomore forward Nemanja Mikic about the lack of number 30 jerseys – Mikic’s number – sported by the fans.
“Maybe they need to mark those down more,” Kopriva said.
As the Colonials exited the Metro, the band and spirit team chanted GW’s fight song and cheered the players on as they headed into their game.
The team was clearly boosted by the show of support on the Metro ride. Even though the train’s operator warned against “crowding” the cars as the players and fans got on and off, it just elicited laughs from the Colonials and their supporters. Senior guard Tony Taylor listened to music on the ride, bouncing up and down as the group waited to transfer cars at Metro Center, directed by the enthusiastic George Washington mascot.
“The overall experience of going on the Metro was great,” Taylor said. “It was good to have all of the students here, the band, our [Athletic Director] Patrick Nero and everybody here just cheering for us and looking for us to get it done today.”