As I've mentioned before, I played college basketball at Montana Tech and am a proud Oredigger. For the past several years, the women's and men's teams have traveled to SLC to play Westminster College. This is the only time each year I get to watch Oredigger hoops, so I was excited for Saturday night's games. It brings back lots of memories, but more importantly, it allows me to give back just a little and show my support for the teams.
We didn't travel to Westminster when I played, but we did play across Montana and nearby states. Our home crowds were small, yet very loud (thanks to Coach Green) and supportive. I vividly remember the usual suspects at home games - cheerleaders, boyfriends, family, local boosters, and a smattering of students and staff. We played on Friday and Saturday nights with the men tipping off right after us. The men's team brought in larger crowds, so we would see a slight uptick as we played our last minutes but it was still light. Away games were extremely light, we were thrilled to get a couple sets of parents and some friends to make the drive. My parents made most of our away games, as did a few others. I even recall my Dad driving to Nebraska for a game and hitting a deer in the process. My Great-Aunt, who also played basketball, was able to see me play for the first (and only) time at that same game in Lincoln! Playing in front of small crowds makes you appreciate every single person that shows up, so when the teams visit Westminster, I strive to give them the best support we can.
|My best memory of Great-Aunt Lois|
|Senior Night - My parents only missed a couple games|
We have a Montana Tech Alumni Chapter in Utah and by default I have been serving as President. This may sound fancy and LinkedIn worthy, but I just try to get alumni to our events via email, phone, or Evite. There are supposedly 100 of us in the area and most are introverts (ie, engineers) and have busy lives, but we usually end up with at least 20 at each get-together. Our events include an annual meeting, marching in the SLC St Pat's Parade, a minor league baseball outing, and anytime the Orediggers are in town for sports.
|SLC Bees Baseball Game|
|SLC St Pat's Parade|
Terry (the honorary Bobcat) rode his bike
The basketball gathering is my favorite because of my ties to the program. In the past, we've rented out a room and had dinner and refreshments for all the alumni, parents, supporters, and athletes. The coaches speak about their programs and recruiting efforts, while someone from Montana Tech attends to give an update on school happenings. The women's team comes up after their game to relax and eat a real dinner, which is something we never had when traveling. We would shower and then make do with the concession stand until the men's game was over.
This year, we weren't able to reserve the room so we did our best to fill the stands and cheer loud. We had a great turnout and several parents and friends also attended. We gave our best and made Butte and Montana Tech proud! Last year, both teams won and we thoroughly enjoyed beating the Griffins, but this year, they both fell short after hard battles. I left the gym with a raspy throat, but all the "Go Diggers!" were worth it.
|2012 Montana Tech Alumni|
|Oredigger Women - young, but learning fast|