It appears as if “good enough” is the favorite phrase of UTSA athletics as Rowdy Jam impressed students but left them wanting more.
UTSA announced that they would be hosting an event called Rowdy Jam, where the players from both women’s and men’s basketball teams would compete in events and a student could win Whataburger for a year. At first, it sounded like a good event to build hype for each of the teams, and the students would get free shirts for attending. All of that was ruined when UTSA decided that the event would be hosted in the Recreation Wellness Center. There is a basketball arena less than 500-feet from the RWC where this event could have been hosted and executed perfectly. Instead, UTSA athletics determined the RWC to be good enough for the team and fans.
There were students wrapped around the RWC hallways, lined up ready for free pizza and a shirt. However, when the action began on the court, half of the students were missing. The amount of people in line previously could have filled the Convocation Center, but they stood watching the unorganized mess take place on the court.
While the basketball team inhabited the main court, students continued to play basketball on the surrounding courts, making it almost impossible to hear anyone speaking through the microphone. The music in the background did not allow anyone to hear the emcee or players introduce themselves. It looked like a high school pep rally instead of a kickoff event for one of the most important seasons in UTSA basketball history. To the emcee’s credit, the event became an enjoyable experience when the basketball hit the court.
The event started with knockout between four players from the men’s and women’s team which freshman Erik Czumbel, from Italy, won. “Mama Mia” chants echoed through the RWC and continued to leave me with thoughts of what could have been in the Convocation Center. Student knockout was the event that could have garnered the most excitement due to each team’s ability to shoot. Later, racks were used for the final student three-point shootout and made my frustration with the event escalate.
The final event of the night was the dunk contest, which was always destined to be the most exciting event. Jacob Germany and Keaton Wallace soared, performing impressive dunks that erupted the crowd.
Overall, the night was entertaining. Students like freshman Chris Freeland enjoyed the night. He labeled it as a “pretty good” event, but when asked where this event should be held next year, he said, “For sure the Convo.”
UTSA athletics took one step forward and two steps backward. We treated our basketball teams as if they were a high school team and stuck them in the Recreation Center. “Good enough” began on the football field and is creeping into basketball.