By Sam Jones
On Feb. 6 the worldwide leader in sports will be on hand at the Centennial Center for both the men and women’s homecoming basketball games versus Columbus State. ESPN will broadcast both games live over their online streaming service, ESPN3.
“They’ve been talking about getting one of our games for a couple of years now” Georgia College Assistant Athletic Director Al Weston said, “The main reason being Shanteona Keys and her relationship with the NCAA Student Athlete Advisory Committee and her national prominence that way. We’ve had that relationship and those conversations going for a few years now and logistically it didn’t work out for them until this year.”
Men’s basketball Head Coach Mark Gainous is happy to see his squad receiving national attention.
“I love it!” Gainous said. “I love it for our guys our guys have worked extremely hard to put themselves in a position to win the Peach Belt Championship and qualify for the Peach Belt Tournament and it’s a reward for the players so I’m just really excited, especially for our four seniors.”
On the women’s side, Head Coach Maurice Smith echoed that sentiment.
“I’m super excited.” Smith said, “I think it’s great for exposure for our university for our athletic program. This is a first for us so we are extremely excited and looking forward to the opportunity.
While both coaches had to mention they were taking things one game at a time, they know that the game will be good for their current team, and possibly even future Bobcat teams.
“We’re definitely going to [use ESPN as a recruiting tool] and hopefully have some prospects here,” said Gainous. “It’s going to be for recruiting and hopefully we can get a win against a great team, one of the best teams in the league.”
The Bobcat women begin at 3:30 while the men are scheduled to begin at 5:30. Both teams lost to Columbus earlier in the year but the athletic department is excited at the prospect of a big upset with a national audience watching.
“It’s an incredible experience for just Georgia college in general,” said Weston. “The opportunity to broadcast to anybody that has a computer with ESPN logo-ing and the branding behind it to be in the same frame when you’re looking on the computer as high level d1 schools.
Even with the game being broadcast everywhere, Weston doesn’t want Bobcat fans to stay home.
“Come to the game, be stupid and get yourself on tv.”