May Oo Khine
Big Green Basketball (Winterim Sports!)
Six weeks of the winter break are flying by. The hallways of the dormitories are peaceful and the Green is fairly vacant except for some who come to see the huge Christmas tree lit up at night or groups of little children who run around playing in the snow.
As quiet the campus is, the Dartmouth Big Green, our athletic teams, is alive and in fiery action through the winterim. Because we begin our winter break much earlier than other colleges, a lot of our winter sports are still taking place in December: track, basketball, squash, ice hockey, and swimming. This weekend, my friend and I went to a men's basketball game at Leeds Arena. This was doubly special as not only was it our first time at a Big Green basketball game, it was the last game of the season before the Christmas holidays.
Next, there was a T-shirt toss. If you're unfamiliar with what this is (just like I was!), it's exactly what it sounds like. A handful of Dartmouth athletic shirts are thrown into the crowd by officials on the court. This is really where the center seats triumph all because unless you're SUPER loud and do something really crazy to attract attention to yourself, the T-shirts are usually tossed to the center seats. There was also a short trivia where an audience member was chosen to answer a question on the history of Dartmouth sports. All these events were so new to me because not only is basketball an incredibly young sport in Myanmar, we never had any audience-involved activities during sports games. This was such a fun way to keep up the spirit and genius way to pull in first-time attendees!
If I had missed the intensity of first-half of the game, I wouldn't have known because the second half was 20 full minutes of exhilaration and anxiety. The score was neck-to-neck.
A three-pointer by Bryant to pull ahead.
A two-pointer by Dartmouth to close the gap.
With 2:24 to go, it was Dartmouth 58, Bryant 61. Everyone was on their feet. I had my palms pressed against the sides of my cheeks and my friend had one of his hands holding on to my shoulder. The kids behind us were jumping up and down, occasionally spilling some of their popcorn on us. As the clock wound down, the whole arena was on edge as the orange ball from the hands of one team to the other. In the final seconds, Bryant got two free throws in and pulled ahead. It was just a 4 point difference!