When IWU basketball players stepped on the court last fall to face the nation's number one team, IWUCom students were there to capture the moment. The game was a rare exhibition between NCAA Division I, Indiana, and NAIA Division II, Indiana Wesleyan. It doesn't happen often, and it was a great moment for storytelling, as well as competition.
Senior Media Communication majors Tricia Skiver (Portland, IN) and Chase Evans (Columbus, OH) represented WIWU-TV on media row. Junior Convergent Journalism major Erin Alberding (South Bend, IN) and Senior Media Com major Matt Onkst (Indianapolis, IN) were there for The Sojourn, student newspaper.
The student journalists found themselves crammed into tiny spaces reserved for media at IU's Assembly Hall in Bloomington. Reporters and photographers must sit two deep on each end of the court and are not allowed to stand during the game.
“It was really a great opportunity to be on that big of a stage and to learn how to shoot and report in that kind of media environment…The atmosphere was electric, the fans are right on top of you,” said Evans.
Assembly Hall is one of college basketball
's oldest and most storied venues, and the IWU journalists had full access to players, coaches and events before, during and after the game.
Evans and Skiver even scored a one-on-one post-game interview with IU Head Coach Tom Crean, who praised the competitiveness and character of IWU's basketball program. Revenue IWU received from the exhibition will assist athletes on a mission trip to New Zealand this summer.
When it was over, IWU did not dethrone the highly-ranked Hoosiers, but they played competitively throughout, even leading through much of the first half. The athletes were in no hurry to leave the legendary venue, grateful for the chance to play on a court they watched while growing up in Indiana.
Skiver and Evans talked to most of the players on camera. “The team is so incredible. It was such a joy to work with them. All the coaches were willing to give interviews and each player walked away with a smile on his face…it just reminds me how much of a class act IWU really is, ” Skiver said.
It was one special night on the big stage for the athletes, and also for their peers who cover them.