While most students were off on their fall breaks, an interesting thing happened at Moby Arena last Monday night.
The Beatles came to town. Well, not exactly, but Moby may have never seen the celebrity it was witness to last week for the CSU men’s basketball game against Boise State.
It is not everyday that the CSU campus plays host to such sports stars like Nuggets Head Coach George Karl, Nuggets starting guard JR Smith, and most importantly, NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony.
The scene following the Rams 67-50 victory was one usually reserved for a Hollywood movie premiere. Autograph seekers on the court mobbed Anthony after the game in a manner never before seen on the Rams’ home court.
Both children and adults clamored for a chance to have their ticket stubs, programs and T-shirts signed by the Nuggets’ $80 million man. Smith and Karl, to a lesser extent, were also sought by autograph seekers.
Despite both being members of the Nuggets, Karl and Anthony were cheering for different teams Monday. Decked out in a bright blue and orange shirt, Karl was cheering on the visitors from Boise. His son, Coby, is a starter and NBA prospect for the Boise State Broncos.
Anthony, on the other hand, was cheering for his childhood friend and Ram starter Tyler Smith. Sitting about 15 seats away from his coach, Anthony was demonstrative in his support of Smith.
At the beginning of the game, it seemed that Anthony would be on the cheering side. Smith went scoreless in the first half, going 0-for-7 from the floor with three turnovers. He recovered, however, and ended up with 12 points and six steals for the evening.
Lost in the hoopla surrounding the traveling NBA stars was the convincing win for the hosts. Despite lackluster games by the Smiths, Tyler and Jason, CSU beat down the Broncos in the second half en route to a good home win.
The most important thing that may come out of Monday’s game was not the appearance of a few celebs, but instead this game proved CSU can win without good games from their two best players. Head Coach Dale Layer has to be happy with the performances of players like Tim Denson and Xavier Kilby.
Following the end of the game, there was an unusual sight on the court. Jason Smith, who is usually mobbed by children of all ages for his autograph, talked to a few friends after the game before heading to the post-game conference without being asked to sign his usual autographs.
While no one will ever confuse Moby for the Nuggets’ Pepsi Center, for a day, the Rams were host to a bevy of NBA stars and the hoopla that surrounds them.
Sports Editor Mike Donovan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.