Seattle, WA- With the post-season fast approaching, Seattle U’s basketball team has discovered a disabling weakness: a fear of crowds. While packed gyms are usually not an issue in the WAC, there have been a few games this year that have garnered crowds big enough to freeze the team. “It’s really bad. When we get a crowd over about 100 people, the team just falls apart. It becomes a challenge just to get them to stay on the court, let alone play a winning game of basketball,” said Redhawks coach Cameron Dollar.
While this has never been an issue at home, where crowds rarely exceed 50 people, trips to bigger state schools like University of Washington have wrecked havoc on the teams psych. Senior Josh Funke was hit especially hard by the condition last time the team made the trip to New Mexico State. “I think it’s overplayed,” commented the senior. “Did I curl up into the fetal position after the jump ball? Definitely. Does that mean I have stage fright? Of course not. There was just a lot of noise and so many people. So many people just staring at me. Oh god, so many people….”
The team may not be eager to acknowledge their weakness, but they are quick to express their love for playing in an empty Key Arena. “There’s just something great about playing in a quiet gym. The sounds of squeaking sneakers and a bouncing ball is way more motivating than a large loud crowd. I’ve actually requested to kick out that damn drumline at every home game this year. And it’s nice recognizing the faces of the 20 fans when I look up to the crowd,” said Sophomore point guard Rick Albrook. At the time of publishing, coach Dollar was forcing the team to spend time in crowded places like Pike Place Market and the airport.