If you watch college basketball games frequently you may notice some people on or behind the bench in polos and dress pants running around with water, towels, and mini stools. These are the student managers. A group of slightly crazy individuals that devote nearly their entire college experience to their school’s basketball team. A basketball student manager, in my opinion, is one of the most unique and fulfilling jobs you can have while in college. Being around and assisting in a major Division 1 basketball program is an amazing experience. So what goes into being a student manager? Here’s a day in the life of a student manager on game day by Henry Stark:
November 30th, 2018. Dayton will take on #25 ranked Mississippi State at 7pm at UD Arena.
9:00 am: Wake up time. I get up and get ready for the day.
9:30-10:45 am: Knock any school work I still have for the day. Today I had to finish up a Sport Finance assignment and started on some MIS homework. Time management is extremely important as I basically live at the basketball office. Any time I have free for school work I need to take advantage of it.
11:00-12:00 pm: Head to the office to break down film (code) and rebound for the players redshirting. Coding is the way we managers break down film for the coaches for upcoming opponents. We will mark offensive and defensive possessions, the type of defense being played, mark stats for the individual players on the opposing teams, and cut out any dead time such as commercials. Doing this helps our coaches out tremendously as they can pull up and watch whatever they want instantly. For example, maybe they want to watch all of Kellan Grady’s made shots. Us coding allows them to easily find and watch the clips. Most teams use a program called SportsCode.
12:20-1:10 pm: Go to MIS class, luckily the only class I have for the day.
1:15 pm: Head to the arena for shootaround. UD Arena is off campus so, I will drive a few players over also that don’t have cars.
1:25 pm: Arrive at the arena and start to set up for shootaround. For shootaround, we will set out water, Slipp-Notts, sweat mops, gum (VERY KEY), stats boards, a camera for filming, and pennies.
1:45-3:00 pm: Shootaround occurs. Players run through light shooting drills, go over our plays a few times and finalized the game plan for our opponent. Also, a few managers including myself will do pregame setup which includes preparing the refs and opponent’s locker room and setting up our bench with water, Gatorade and towels. In the opponent’s and refs’ locker room, we place a cooler with bottles of Gatorade, a cooler of water, a hot pack machine, and an e-stim machine.
3:00-3:45 pm: The redshirting players will do light workouts before the game that we will help with.
4:00-4:30 pm: Pregame Meal. The pregame meal is one of my favorite parts of the day. Our man Chef Nick always cooks up some amazingly delicious food.
4:45-5:15 pm: Head to Starbucks to get the coaches coffee.
5:30-6:30 pm: Go down to the court to rebound for pregame shooting.
6:30 pm: Head to the locker room to change into our gameday polos, assign everyone jobs, and prep for game time. Gameday duties include film, stool duty, water and towel duty, stat sheet runner, whiteboard runner, and the grittiest job spit cup. On spit cup duty you literally hold a Gatorade cup that players will spit loogies into if they need to.
6:45-7:00 pm: The team comes down to the court for the final warm-up.
7:00 pm: Tipoff vs Mississippi State. I will be filming this game, which includes live coding it, so I will mark the results of all possessions and mark our player’s shots and turnovers.
9:00 pm: The game ends and unfortunately we lost to the Bulldogs 65-58. Although the players’ job is done ours still has a lot left to do. We still have to clean up our bench area, the refs’ locker room, and the visitor’s locker room. We will clean and dry the 10 Gatorade coolers we used and ensure all equipment is put back in a neat and organized fashion. The catch is we have to wait until the refs and visiting team leave.
9:30 pm: The refs leave and we are able to clean their locker room.
9:45 pm: Mississippi State leaves and we clean their locker room out.
10:00 pm: I head back up to our locker room to wait for the coaches to leave so we can finish cleaning our locker room and take our laundry down to the laundry room. While we wait for the coaches to leave we will go outside and scrape ice and brush off their cars if covered in snow.
10:30 pm: The last of the coaches head out and we finish cleaning up our locker room and player’s lounge.
11:00 pm: I finally arrive back to my apartment and get ready to head into the office tomorrow morning to knock out some film work for the coaches.
The student manager job obviously is a very demanding job, especially on game days, but the love for the game and the love for the grind is what keeps us all going day in and day out.