Despite its academic qualifications, Duke is most known for basketball. I am a HUGE basketball fan, having played throughout high school. I also had the once-in-a-lifetime chance to help the Houston Rockets with the 2007 and 2008 NBA Drafts.
I attended my first Duke basketball game at Cameron last night, and it was a night I will never forget. I was fortunate to get special (and free) seating in spite of showing up a few minutes before tip-off.
The in-game experience at Cameron is the best. This is coming from someone who went to a basketball school undergrad (Syracuse) and earned season tickets as a Red Rowdy (analogous to a Cameron Crazy) from then head coach Jeff Van Gundy of the Houston Rockets in 2006.
But I have never seen fans as passionate as the Cameron Crazies. Not just the students, but older folks as well. A large number of people painted their faces blue and white. On television, viewers would have probably seen a sea of blue.
The cheers were chanted with such precision. They were creative and timely. In the past, whenever I was a part of such a large group at a game, shouts were rarely in unison, and it was extremely difficult to get everyone on the same page.
But that’s not the case in Cameron. Watching the Blue Devils play at home reminded me of my high school’s varsity basketball game in 2005, when the stadium was standing room only. Cameron is designed like a high school gym. It can’t fit more than 9,500 people, yet at times, it got even louder than the Carrier Dome during football games.
Whether you’re a Dukie or not, if you love to have fun, you need to check out a Duke basketball game at Cameron.