On Jan. 4, I woke up around 7:45 a.m. with so much excitement and enthusiasm. I sprung out of bed like never before and did the usual morning routine. I ate a huge bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios (good for your heart). By 9:00 a.m. I was on the E train heading toward the World’s Most Famous Arena located on 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, Madison Square Garden.
On the train I daydreamed of working for ESPN and being on the 11 p.m. edition of SportsCenter. “This is Albert and Welcome to SportsCenter,” I imagined. I was heading to cover our Queens College Lady Knights as they participated in the Maggie Dixon Classic. The Knights were honoring the first women’s basketball game played at MSG 40 years ago in 1975.
As the announcer said “Stand clear of the closing doors,” I suddenly I snapped out of my daydream with two stops to go. Luckily I woke up in time before missing my stop or that would have been embarrassing. I entered through the Media Entrance on 8th Ave.
It was at this moment I realized this was really happening. Entering through this special entrance felt like being on the VIP list for a concert. I walked up to a desk where I was checked off on a list and was given my own personal own media pass.
The elevator arrived and I took it up to the sixth floor. The elevator smelled a little funny but I did not care I was so engaged on my way to cover the game for The Knight News. I finally arrived to the top. There I was on the floor of the Garden standing next to the giant New York Knicks sign in the middle.
I wasn’t even sure if I was allowed to be there. I quickly took a few photos, as I was afraid security would say something. I was unaware, with a media pass, I was fine After a few minutes of glaring all around the stadium I asked security where the media sat and was pointed to special area with rows of tables. As I looked for my
seat, I found a little card that read “Welcome to MSG Albert Roman: Knight News.” I settled into my seat and prepared my notebook to take notes on the game. Tip off began at 10:30am with the Queens College Knights taking on the Immaculata Mighty Macs.
Both teams battled in the first half and the score was 25-24 heading into the second half. As I returned to my seat I was shocked to discover a stat sheet of the game on the table. There was also a transcribed play-by-play. This was truly awesome!
The Lady Knights came out strong in the second half and took control of the game. They won by a score of 76-60. Sophomore Madison Rowland led the way with 28 points and 11 rebounds.
Following the game I headed into the media conference room where Coach Bet Naumovski and Madison Rowland answered questions by us fellow reporters.
After this I thought my day was done; however, it was only in the first half. It was to my surprise that I was allowed to stay and watch the second game of the day the St John’s Red Storm taking on the defending National Champions the UConn Huskies.
After the game concluded sadness came over me, as I knew my day at the Garden was on its final lap. Before the day ended I walked around behind the scenes.
Explored the media room that was full of food and work stations were you could write your articles after the game. I watched the staff set up the floor for the next game as the Knicks were going to host the Bucks.
I had the thought of maybe staying around for the game; however I didn’t want to over stay my welcome. It could of ended up on the local news. “Man tries to sneak into Knicks game after long day at the Garden.”
I met the wonderful and talented M. Saidia McLaughlin, who invited me on her radio show “Sports Qualified” on WBAI 99.5 fm to be a guest. I went on to talk about the Maggie Dixon Classic and a little about my day.
As I laded in bed that night I couldn’t sleep. I was so full of adrenaline. I couldn’t believe they day that had just happened. This experience has truly motivated me into working harder to achieve the dream I have of becoming a journalist.
Nothing would be better than making a living by doing something I love—covering sports. My goal now is to turn that daydream I had on the E train into a reality.
Albert Roman is a junior and the sports editor for The Knight News. He can be reached at albert[at]theknightnews.com