In the evening, we set off for SLC's Energy Solutions Arena for our live NBA match. Utah Jazz vs Atlanta Hawks. Initially wanted to buy LA Lakers vs Jazz but tickets were all sold out.
We were really excited about it. Some background here: I think I started liking basketball in Pri Sch. Used to buy those NBA cards too. I even played basketball till I fractured my forefinger on my right hand in Pr Sch before. The school teacher called my mom, who had to take me to the school clinic in Outram for an X-ray. Even though the finger hurt a lot, it felt nice to miss the rest of the day in school, I still recall vividly, haha.
In Sec School, I tried to joined Basketball, but due to the CCA selection system in place, I wasn't allowed to join the sport I liked, but instead was arrowed to Volleyball and Netball instead. I didn't dribble the ball as good as others, I think. My piano teacher cautioned that Volleyball will be injurious to the wrists, and so I joined Netball in the end. Fortunately, I enjoyed it a lot.(I later quit Netball because my 3rd lang classes at MOELC (then at Newton) clashed with Netball practices, and I wanted to do 3rd lang more. 3rd lang classes had guys too. haha.)
After that, I didn't play bb much. Mostly just during PE or interclass matches. Occasionally, I'll watch a match. I do remember that Shaquille O'Neal made an appearance at the new Ngee Ann City when I was in Sec 3? And me and friends went there to take a look. :-) We rode the escalator up and down just to see him play at the basement square just outside Takashimaya. Crowd too large to see him at ground level.
A few close church friends became very good at bb. Lawrence and Daisy for example. I watched both of them play and went to a match supporting Daisy's team. Brought some Taiwanese friends crazy about bb along as well. Daisy also was good enough to get into the national team.
Then when I became a teacher at hc, my good friend happened to be the coach of the bb (girls) team, and she asked me to try and get the teacher-in-charge post. I thought usually it belonged to the PE dept, but I did write it as my choice and got it. Those 2 years(?) were really exciting, because I got to see the girls training and competing so frequently. Daisy happened to be in the RJ team then, and they were our arch rivals. :-)
Anyway, so now we're here, I told Dh we have to go for a live match! It was kind of expensive if you buy a single ticket. If you go for the season tickets, they're more than half price per ticket, but of course you spend more in total. One would be good enough, since we don;t have much time left.
The match started at 7pm and we arrived at around 6.30pm. Parking lots were already 3/4 gone. We entered and realised they have pre-game entertainment, but nevermind. We were still early enough to get the souvenir giveaways. They were giving out Utah Jazz umbrellas this weekend. We could only get one per family though, but I saw families who came earlier having one each (i.e. even their little kids get one). After that, I noticed that the match between Jazz and Supersonics had a full-sized Jazz NBA basketball as giveaways and later on I checked online and all tickets were already sold out. Hmmm, do they snap up tickets because the giveaway is good, or do the organisers give away something of higher value if the match is sold out?
Just a couple after us, the umbrellas were gone already. So, we got there just in time.
We got to our seats and Dh went to buy dinner. The standard staple at games -- hotdogs, burritos, popcorn, soda.
Both teams were already warming up. There was loud and upbeat music, so both ds got very excited too. Arena was well-designed, so despite us sitting way up there, and in the corner, we still had a good view. Below's a pic of the arena, and the screen where we get to see close up shots.Above shows them stretching and warming up.
Above right: the start of the game. 1st quarter.
I had explained some parts of the game to ds1 before that, and he was really engrossed. I was glad ds2 enjoyed himself a lot too. Mainly cos he liked the music, the action, the cheering, and he had this mini pom pom (above) which he kept swaying. He also followed everyone. If they shouted "De-fence! D-fence!" then he'll shout too. If they cheered and clapped wildly, he did too. He also liked the Jazz mascot a lot, the bear. Whenever the bear came out, he'll exclaim excitedly.
The bear came out very often, every time-out, half-time, break... etc. Most times he'll give out freebies. They'll use a catapult to shoot all kinds of memorabilia up to the spectators. Sometimes tees, jerseys, or small balls. Ds1 wanted them so much, he shouted, stood up, raised his arms and cheered whenever the bear turned our way, just like some around us. haha. He didn't get any of course, he was much shorter. :-)
The game itself was very exciting, especially the 2nd and 3rd quarters. That's why I didn't take any videos or pics after the 1st quarter. 1st quarter Jazz was leading, but by 2nd qtr, both teams were even or within 2 points of each other. That continued till the 3rd qtr. Only in the 4th qtr did Jazz pull ahead, and then we knew they would win. Final score was something ard 104-96? Can't remember.
Boozer (guy's last name, ok?) was Jazz' highest scorer.
Dh and I cheered loudly too, we just got into the game naturally. Jazz supporters outnumbered Hawks' fans inevitably, this being a home game, but the family sitting just next to us are Hawks' supporters. We noticed that very early on, of course, because when we cheered, they were silent, and when we were quiet, they clapped. They didn't cheer loudly though. Possibly because they were subdued by the sheer numbers of Jazz people. Those behind us, especially, had a lot of swear words and other things to shout about, whenever the referee called a foul or penalty. They were too ardent supporters of Jazz. They booed really loudly too.
Shutting our ears to that, we had a really great time. So enjoyable that we started looking for other matches we could attend, but later decide we shouldn't commit, because we still don't know when exactly we will need to fly to China.
The clip below shows the Jazz team about to start the game and cheering among themselves. Also shows the cheerleaders doing their stuff.