Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Basketball Unity Sets GU Apart From Other Schools

The enjoyment that I get from giving campus tours for Blue and Gray is always tempered by the sobering fact that my audience cannot possibly remember most of what I tell them. Each time I lead a group of wide-eyed high school students and their parents around our campus, it’s obvious that even the most attentive observers have difficulty discerning Healy from Henle and Leavey from Lauinger.

I accept the fact that prospective students are only going to take away two or three lasting impressions from their visit to the Hilltop, and I try to cope with this by making sure to periodically pause and to explicitly tell them the most important facts about Georgetown. It’s always when I reach the Multi-Sport Facility that my little speech becomes most urgent, because it is at this point that I bequeath to them the secret that the guidebooks will seemingly never quite understand.

First, I appeal to their egos. I tell them that if they are considering a university like Georgetown, they must all be pretty smart kids. Once they hit this upper echelon of academics, it’s hard to make a bad choice regarding their education. But I remind them that there are other factors that go into choosing a college beyond just the books, such as whether students are proud of their institution, and if there is anything that brings them together and tangibly demonstrates it.

I then switch gears for a moment and note that I attended high school in New York City and that I am fortunate to have friends at every major academic university in America. The kinds of places that I’m talking about are the stereotypical institutions that award pretty impressive degrees: places like the Ivies plus Stanford, Georgetown and Vanderbilt. I’ve talked with these high school buddies, I tell my prospective Hoyas, and occasionally we have discussed what makes them feel connected to their college. Beyond the piece of paper that they plan on receiving this spring at graduation and the friends they’ve made along the way, I often find their answer shocking: nothing else really bonds them to their school.

Now, I pause for dramatic effect. At this point, they are hooked. I’ve gone and thrown a stone right at one of their dream Ivy towers, shattering one of its pristine stained glass windows.

I then unleash the aforementioned secret: that a sense of disconnectedness from their peers is something they will likely never experience if they come to Georgetown.

And for this, we have to thank our basketball team.

It’s impossible to describe the excitement of taking down Duke, winning the Big East tournament or marching all the way to the Final Four without lapsing into superlatives.

But at this point, with JT III signed for the long haul, Roy ready to watch over the present, and Greg Monroe set to handle the future, there is no doubt that Georgetown basketball is going to win a lot of games now and in the years to come.

But as great as it is to be truly athletically superior to our counterparts in Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and Connecticut (because we know that academically, it’s not even close), there’s more to Georgetown basketball than just winning games. It represents a visceral way for Hoyas to demonstrate their love for the university. It provides a reason for you to high-five that kid you’ve sat next to for three semesters of economics but haven’t yet managed to introduce yourself to without things being awkward. There can be no argument that basketball isn’t the binding tie that unifies Georgetown students.

New York, New Jersey. California, Texas, Florida, Iowa, Wyoming, or the world. Guy or girl; conservative or liberal. Black, white, Hispanic, Asian, and everything in between. Rich, poor, or middle-class. Chicken or Burger Madness; SFS, MSB, College, or NHS.

Each and every one of us roots for Georgetown Basketball.

I could have spent the athletics portion of my tour talking about the facts, which are impressive enough in their own right. The championship banners and NBA jerseys hanging in McDonough are legitimate reasons to be proud, as are the impressive track and field and cross country programs.

But what I desperately want to convey to the prospective Hoyas is that when it comes down to it, it’s really the feelings that matter the most.

The collective campus support for our basketball team is a beautiful thing. It’s in the moments when the arena is filling and the tension is mounting before tip-off that we really become Georgetown.

But that sentiment just isn’t something that a prospective student can really comprehend through just an explanation on an hour-long tour.

Lucky for us, we’re already Hoyas. And that feeling we all get when we gaze down from a packed student section on a Saturday morning during March?

Well, that can be our little secret.

Chris Seneca is a senior in the School of Foreign Service. He can be reached at Slow Motion appears every other Friday in HOYA SPORTS.

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