Gardner Webb (43) vs. Old Dominion (44) 12/10/2022

Game #107 of 363 29% complete

This is the first of a three-game set in the Norfolk area of Virginia. I flew for the first time on the discount airline Breeze from Hartford. Because of the limited schedule of Breeze, I flew in a day early Friday morning and basically had almost 2 days of touristy stuff till this Saturday night game. I did not fly home till Monday night leaving another whole day to find things to do. More about my travels later!

A multi-level free parking garage is next to the arena which always score points for me. The outside of the arena is very impressive. This a modern arena built for basketball. Although the concessions could provide a little more variety and the gift shop was lean (no large size tee shirt available), I was very happy with the fan experience.

Although the students were away for break, the fans around me were very into their Monarchs. This was defensive struggle to say the least.

The ODU sportswriter Harry Minium had contacted previously before the game. We met at my seat with a much-appreciated media pass. We proceeded to a food room for the media where I was interviewed for the ODU web site. I am looking forward to seeing the end result. To make things even better, I was given a courtside seat to watch the second half. Thanks Harry!

My view from the court side seat.

So how many times have you seen a chill area for the fans in an arena?

The coach for ODU is Jeff Jones. I remember seeing him play for the Virginia Cavaliers many moons ago. Jones took the helm of Old Dominion basketball in 2013. He previously served as head coach of the American Eagles and Virginia.

The hall of fame areas inside the arena were impressive. The women’s basketball program in earlier years were considered one of the top programs in the country and held a prominent place in the exhibits. Do the names Nancy Lieberman and Anne Donovan ring a bell?

The best-known men’s basketball player is David Twardzik. He was a second-round pick by the Portland Blazers in 1977 but elected to joining the ABA Virginia Squires. He now does color commentary for the ODU basketball network.

The unlikely hero in this game was guard Imo Essien who missed his first nine shots but sunk a three pointer with 41 seconds left for the eventual game winner.

I was able to sit in the presser after the game. Harry said there was mix up and he was the only one asking questions. Still it was cool to be there. Coach Jones did mention that he was not happy with the change of game time from 7PM to 8PM due to high school football games. He made the point that this would not happen again.

I usually post a picture of the scoreboard with the final score here, but I forgot to take a picture because I was wondering when it would be time to go to the presser.

I did many tourist visits on this trip but I will include pictures of just one visit in each of my three game blogs.

As always, zoos are a favorite mine to visit. Here are some pictures from the Virginia Zoo.

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