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Tara's Take: In-Arena Host for UVA Men's B-Ball

By: Tara Wheeler
By: Tara Wheeler

I'm the in-arena host for every UVA Men's Basketball game. Here's my take on the fantastic fans!

I have an awesome side job as the in-arena host for every UVA Men's Basketball game. My role is essentially to put the fans through wild, crazy, and sometimes embarrassing games and contests. They show off their school spirit and sense of humor for great prizes. I love it! My previous TV job was as the fan reporter for the Washington Redskins pre-game show "Redskins Kickoff" on Comcast SportsNet... so I have had some experience hanging with enthusiastic fans. But, I have to say, nothing compares to the college sports atmosphere!

The season-opening pre-game contest was called "Bucket Head" where two teams of two competed. One team member had a bucket strapped to their head while the other tried to bounce in ping pong balls. Where else could you find a 5th year med student with a bucket on his head while a screaming sea of blue and orange cheer him on?

For the majority of the game, scoring was fairly back and forth but then UVA broke away for the win. The crowd atmosphere was so energetic and fun, jumping and encouraging their favorite Hoos. Player of the game was my favorite: number 15, Billy Baron. He had several standing ovations from the crowd and as a young freshman, he has got to feel amazing about his performance. There's no doubt he'll be a star here at UVA.

I'll be at the next home match this Monday against USC Upstate. Tip off is at 7pm. If you see me there, say hi!

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