With time winding down in overtime, Creighton’s John McKew hit a half-court shot at the buzzer to beat Alabama in overtime in a basketball game earlier this month.
Most Creighton fans wouldn’t have seen this basketball game, but it was an exciting finish for Creighton’s student managers. The game was played between the managers of the respective Alabama and Creighton basketball teams in Creighton’s Championship Center.
Throughout this year, (and many years past), Creighton’s basketball managers have been involved in many scrimmage basketball games against managers from other teams that the Creighton basketball team will play. The games usually take place sometime before the men’s basketball team plays.
This year, the Creighton ‘Manajays’ have played against the managers of the men’s basketball teams of Missouri, Indiana, Arizona State, Nebraska, St. John’s, Marquette, Butler, Providence and Alabama.
Even though the games usually go unnoticed to the public eye, a lot of great stories have formed from the scrimmages.
“When we played Nebraska, Andrew Birkeland, one of our managers, locked up Ali Farokhmanesh,” Creighton manager Kevin Jewell said. “He was a pretty famous player at UNI (University of Northern Iowa).”
Some Creighton managers have formed rivalries with other teams along the way.
“My biggest personal rivalry is with this kid they call ‘Woody’ from Nebraska,” Creighton manager Tom Digenan said. “He calls a lot of cheap fouls.”
In addition playing the opposing team’s managers in basketball scrimmages, the managers do a lot to help out Creighton’s team.
Some of the managers help work with video presentations and assist in the training of players. They are also needed for a lot of work behind the scenes, such as making sure all of the team’s equipment is where it needs to be.
The scrimmage games are a fun way for the managers to get to meet some students from other schools around the United States as well as a way to compete and have fun.
With all the hard work that goes with being a basketball manager, the scrimmage games are a fun way for the managers to take advantage of being involved in athletics.
“The manager games are really just a way for us to get back in a competitive environment,” Creighton manager Andrew Birkeland said. “Many of us didn’t think we’d experience that past high school hoops.”