Written as a pre-event story for my Media Writing course in Spring 2016.
The Kansas Jayhawks will host the Iowa State Cyclones and celebrate Senior Day on Saturday, March 5 for the final game of the 2015-2016 regular season.
Each year in the final home game, the University of Kansas honors seniors with a pre-game ceremony and post-game speeches. This year, Kansas will recognize players Perry Ellis, Jamari Traylor, Hunter Mickelson, and Evan Manning, as well as manager Tim Skoch for their efforts throughout the last four years. Bob Davis, television broadcaster, will also be honored, as he will retire after this season.
Kansas is riding a 10-game winning streak, as well as a 12th consecutive Big 12 Conference title. Ranked at No.1 in the Coaches’ Poll, the Jayhawks are a 9.5 point favorite over the No. 21 Cyclones.
Senior Day is always a special game in Allen Fieldhouse, both for the basketball team and for seniors in the student section. It is a sentimental celebration of the last four years for the graduating seniors. Even Bill Self, head coach of the men’s basketball team, said in a pre-game press conference that this class is one that “will hit home for me,” according to the Kansas Athletics website.
Senior, Mary Fortino has been an avid fan during her time at the University of Kansas. She loves the sense of pride and community KU basketball has brought to her. However, Fortino isn’t excited for Senior Day as it is marked with many “lasts.”
“It marks the end of an era,” Fortino said. “Attending KU games and not sitting in the student section for the rest of my life will just feel wrong.”
Nevertheless, Fortino is looking forward to sharing the night with her “fellow seniors in the student section and on the court.”
Tim Skoch will be one of the seniors experiencing the day on the court. Skoch has been a student manager for the men’s basketball team for three years during his time at KU. In that time, he has had the opportunity to travel with the team throughout the country and to South Korea for the World University Games. However, some of his fondest memories happened in Allen Fieldhouse.
“One of my favorite memories was seeing one of my brothers, Chris Huey get into the game against TCU and also the Oklahoma game this year,” Skoch said.
Skoch is looking forward to having his entire family in attendance at the game and to share the experience against “a great opponent” with all of his friends.
The seniors will be honored in a pre-game ceremony, and their speeches will follow the game. Tip-off in Allen Fieldhouse is at 3 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
Watch Christian Garrett’s postgame speech from the 2015 Senior Night.
Follow @KUHoops on Twitter for in-game updates and videos.