After the BankUnited Center opened in 2003 and the women’s basketball team moved over from the Knight Sports Complex, the girls played in front of a sea of empty seats even though attendance remained relatively the same.
A few years ago, a gigantic black curtain was installed to hide many of those empty seats and provide a more intimate feel.
Photographically speaking, that curtain is a gem, as players “pop” off the clear background, as if in a studio, at the top of my images with a dozen or so mainly-filled rows of seats filling the lower half.
As much as I love that curtain, I’d also love to see it raised.
The 2012 Hurricanes Women’s Basketball team is currently 22-3 and ranked #6 in the country. They have won 11 consecutive games and 38 consecutive games at home. They are anchored by three seniors, two of whom are locks to enter the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame in the future.
It’s a shame most of you have missed seeing them at least once during their careers.
I know the tired old argument that women’s sports are not as exciting as men’s sports, to which my reply is, “You haven’t seen this team play.” I knew it two years ago when I went to Berkeley, California, to shoot them in the WNIT final, and I know it even more so today.
The good news is you have two final chances to see Shenise, Riquna and Sylvia play. This Sunday, the ‘Canes take on our beloved rival FSU at 3:30pm. Advance tickets are as low as $1 or $5 at the door, and proceeds will go to the Play 4 Kay organization.
On Sunday, February 26th, the ‘Canes will play Boston College at 1pm and admission is FREE. It’s also Senior Day, and Shenise, Riquna and Sylvia will be honored before the game.
The women’s attendance record at the BankUnited Center is 4973, and UM officials want that number surpassed on Sunday.
So as the ‘Canes “Strive For Five,” I say “Raise The Curtain.”
And if you sit on the South side behind the benches, you’ll replace the curtain in my images. Nothing would make me happier.