Crowds brave the winter blast to catch the UD game, Flyin' to the Hoop
DAYTON, Ohio (WRGT/WKEF) — As a winter blast pelted the Miami Valley with snow, basketball became an escape for those willing to brave the elements.
Friday night, the Dayton Flyers men’s basketball team took on VCU, while some of the best high school basketball players in the country were in Kettering at Flyin’ to the Hoop.
Roughly 13,000 people jammed UD Arena despite the weather.
“In the car we said there’s five crazy people coming,” UD fan Norma Jean Luneke said of her and her friends going to the game. “I wonder how many other crazy people are coming.”
With all of the high school games cancelled Friday night, the flyers shared spectators with Flyin’ to the Hoop.
By 5 p.m. the lobby of Trent Arena was already filled with people trying to get inside for the 6:30 p.m. Fairmont game to open the showcase. People showed up early to beat the brunt of the storm, but some people had to wait until 5:30 p.m. when the doors opened.
“I’m telling you every year Mother Nature and I have a love hate relationship,” joked Eric Horstman, the founder of Flyin’ to the Hoop.
This year, two of the national teams had trouble getting to the tournament. IMG Academy out of Florida may have a flight delay, and Prolific Prep out of California is pushing to even make it.
“The protocol is actually we have a couple of teams that had emailed or texted me and said they would be willing or very happy to come in place of it,” Horstman said.
Games at Trent Arena for Flyin’ to the Hoop will continue on through Monday, with some teams arriving tomorrow in easier weather.