Durham, Day 1: Ballin’ at Cameron Indoor Stadium

Cameron is amazingly nondescript!

As the final residency gets underway, it’s sometimes hard for me to immediately recall all of the great experiences that have happened in the past year.  For me, each residency has had one experience that has stuck out as THE thing that I’ll always remember:

  • London:  Watching everyone scramble to build a raft, then having to race out and back in the pond.  While no one overtly sank, there were some rafts with questionable buoyancy…
  • Dubai:    After taking the ‘Leap of Faith’ at Atlantis, Stefan filming me an hour later as I fell down the man-made Ski Dubai.  (I’ve since learned to ski BTW, or at the very least I could conquer this hill now)
  • Delhi:  I never wrote a long post about it, but traveling to Agra to see the Taj Mahal is clearly something everyone should do, a memory that is too amazing for words
  • Shanghai:  If I’m picking a positive aspect of the culture, traveling 430 km/h on the maglev train definitely showed the modern side of Shanghai.  Of course, the journey to buy some fake Rolexes with Francois (again, never wrote about) was probably the best seedy story I’ll remember
  • St. Petersburg:  My morning walk around Nevsky Prospect.

Which brings us to Durham.  If you’re talking about Duke, you’re talking about basketball.  Ok, sure…there’s the medical school…and a business school that’s kind of a big deal…but BASKETBALL, everyone knows about basketball.  4-time, most recently 2010 NCAA Men’s National Championship Basketball.  And of all the memorable experiences that we’ve had as a class, for me, today’s experience at Cameron Indoor Stadium tops them all.

Banner #4 will be unveiled at 'Midnight Madness' this year

Given the number of students in the class, two sections were created, with each section performing a different activity.  To start the morning, the second-half-of-the-alphabet section (clearly, myself included) took a tour of the facility, from seeing the press room to watching game footage to walking through the practice facility.  This was a great way to start off, as more than a few of the people in the section were looking a bit rough from the night before (just sayin’).

After 90 minutes or so the sections switched, bringing our group onto the main floor at Cameron.  To get the feel for how the basketball team works out, a series of drills were set up for each of the 5 teams to perform:  motion offense, rebounding, ball handling, defense, and shooting.  My poor physical conditioning aside, going through all of these drills on the same court I’ve seen so many times on television was just an amazing experience.  If Coach K was there, he would’ve seen how I OWN the left elbow over to the middle of the foul line.  Don’t leave me open CCMBA’ers, that’s money in the bank!  Speaking of Coach K, unfortunately he wasn’t part of our event, although it seems he was in the building at some point while we were there.

Jeff claims he missed "19 in a row" while I was filming

After the formal drills session was over, there was some time to shoot around and take some pictures.  Even though we weren’t able to play a real game of basketball, this was still an amazing experience.  I hope that in the future I’ll be able to make it down for a game, to experience what the stadium is like with 10,000 screaming Cameron Crazies energizing the place.  One thing I can say is that it must be deafening in there; with only 120 people, a few basketballs dribbling, and a little bit of background music, it was pretty damn loud on the floor.  Add another 10,000 people…it’s got to be like an airplane taking off!

The day wasn’t completely without competitive basketball though, as our picnic area had a hoop.  While it was great fun playing in that pickup game (I probably haven’t played basketball in 10 years), I’m paying for it now!  My legs hurt, my knees hurt, my back hurts…when did I get so $^#%* old?

If I feel as beat up tomorrow as I do right now, being stationary sitting in a classroom is going to be hell!

Related Posts:

  • Zài jiàn, Semester 4!
  • Welcome to Yangshuo, Friend!
  • First Impressions: Shanghai

Leave a Reply