SU Basketball

by Adam Popescu

SU basketball is a thing of beauty. High-flying dunkers, sharpshooters and defensive specialists, this is a program that creates NBA players.

In that same vein, the Newhouse School has consistently produced successful media alums like Bob Costas, Larry Kramer and Steve Kroft.

As a journalism graduate student, I expected some of that magical sports legacy to pass to me in the form of access to top-level facilities like the newly completed Carmelo Center. To my dismay, I have been denied access to ‘Melo, Manley Fieldhouse and of late, Archbold gymnasium.

At Archbold, Fridays feel like a basketball mini-camp for the amateur set. The main three courts are packed with young players eager to prove something. The waits are loooong, and the concept of “next” is more concept than anything else.

After waiting with friends for over an hour, and almost getting into a fight with mouthy undergrads, we left without ever getting into a game. Fed up, we wanted to try Manley, but we didn’t have a ball. What to do…oh yeah, I know. We headed for the courts at the women’s building off of Euclid.

A short drive later, we were in the building. The squeak of sneakers cutting and planting echoed down the stairs. Walking into the court, we expected to see basketball players. Instead, we walked in on a game of in-door soccer, and went home with our collective hoop fixes unfulfilled.

On Wednesday, we returned to Archbold, convinced that a weeknight would be empty. At the front desk, I asked for a basketball. Sorry, none left.

I watched as the wait staff told two young men that the numbers on their balls didn’t match up with what they checked out. They had to go back upstairs to the courts and find their balls.

Tired of waiting, I went upstairs to check out my chances of getting in a game.

Chalk-full. Again. Not wanting to relive the overall BS of the previous day, my friends wanted to leave. Despite my frustration and desire to play, my bags were back in my buddy’s car. I wasn’t going to wait by myself and walk home without my jacket.

On the walk back to the car, we passed by the home of the Orange, the Dome. Looking through the glass revolving doors, we imagined what it would be like to play there, with the lights, the fans, the glory—then the wind picked up and the piercing Syracuse cold made us pick up our steps.

For such a big basketball school, I thought it would be easy to play pick-up here. Apparently not.

If I had a car, I would say good-bye to general population living and join 24-hr fitness.

—Adam Popescu