I’m so excited tonight, and I know this is a travel blog, and it’s my second basketball related post in a row. I’ll tie it into travel later in the post. Anthony Bennett was the first overall pick in the NBA draft tonight. This is a big deal to me for 2 reasons. First, he is the first Canadian to be the top pick in the draft. Second, he played his College ball for my favorite NCAA basketball team, the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels!!!
This is the first time a UNLV player has been drafted first overall since Larry Johnson in 1992 when the Rebels were the GREATEST COLLEGE TEAM IN THE HISTORY OF THE NCAA!!!!!!! They weren’t that this year. They were an unfortunate first round knockout in March Madness in a game that Bennett didn’t really dominate…. but it’s a team game. I guess the Cleveland Cavaliers thought he was the guy, and I’m super stoked that they did. It’s historical for Canadian Basketball, and should be great for the UNLV program.
Where does this turn into a travel blog?? It just so happens that I attended a UNLV home game this year during my last trip to Vegas. I love going to the Thomas & Mack Center especially because of the reminders of that amazing team from the early 90s. I even bought a Stacey Augmon jersey from the concession stand when I was there. Being Canadians, we were of course cheering for Bennett, but I had no idea I was watching the top player in the NBA draft that night.
I missed some of the game too. Shortly after this picture was taken, my 3 month old son (don’t ask me why I thought it was appropriate to bring a 3 month old baby to an NCAA basketball game….. I just did) lost his mind when the crowd started cheering after they announced the starting 5. He was sleepy, and I thought he might sleep through it, but the sudden bursts of noise were too much for him. My wife gave me the look, and the 3 of us jumped in a cab to go back to the Cosmopolitan. After they were tucked in, I jumped in another cab and went back to watch the 2nd half of the game. The Rebels won!!!
If you’ve never been to an NCAA basketball game, I strongly urge you to experience it. The fans are great. I’d almost say better than the NBA. It’s just such an electric atmosphere. I love the marching bands and cheerleaders and all the chanting and craziness that goes with it. These kids aren’t getting paid either. It’s just pure youthful enthusiasm. Lot’s of fun! Yet another fun thing to do in Vegas.
Yay Anthony Bennett!!!