Students use Marshallville as way of connecting
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It feels just like any other day in Wichita, but on Wichita State’s campus, there is more excitement in the air as students prepare for Shocker basketball.
This Friday marks the beginning of the regular season for the Shockers as they host South Carolina State at 8 p.m. at Charles Koch Arena. Along with the beginning of the season comes Marshallville — the location just outside of Koch Arena where a student pep group leads activities for students waiting for the doors to open before every game.
“I go throughout my daily routine, classes, homework, etc. with a bunch of excitement leading up to when I go and stand in line at Marshallville,” junior Alan Joyal said. “At Marshallville we hang out and talk basketball, and it makes standing in line for two and a half hours not feel so long.”
Joyal began going to Marshalville last year when he started attending WSU, but has been a fan “since birth.”
“I’ve met a lot of great people at (Marshallville), and we always have a good time before and during the game,” Joyal said. “Both of my parents graduated from Wichita State, and we’ve had season tickets for 12-plus years. I might be one of the biggest WSU fans you’ll ever meet.”
Junior Mara Pounds became a fan later in life.
“I grew up in a house divided between KSU and KU, and I also loved Wisconsin,” Pounds said. “Then my sister attended Wichita State, and we had a guy from my hometown play at Drake. I still remember going to the WSU versus Drake game. It was on New Year’s Day and I fell in love with Shocker basketball that day.”
Pounds began to attend more Shocker games and eventually decided to get involved with Marshallville to revamp the student section for basketball games.
“I got involved with Marshallville this year because I would really like to see the student section get more involved at games,” Pounds said. “When looking at the student sections from the blue-bloods of basketball, they get so rowdy and into games, and Marshallville wants that to become WSU’s tradition.”
Through this tradition, Pounds met her now best friend Brianna Appel as a freshman and claims they have only missed about two or three games in the last two years since they’ve attended Wichita State. They traveled to St. Louis last year during Arch Madness.
“When I met Brianna in class one day, we were both updating ESPN for the score of the first game freshman year,” Pounds said. “We had WSU basketball in common and that developed into a great friendship. We plan around basketball. We may have picked our class schedule by what works best for the games, too.”
Pounds said watching Shocker basketball has made friendships and her best memories, and is even a stress reliever for her.
“It’s a joke in my family to say, ‘She really is in college for her education, basketball is just as much of a priority though,’” Pounds said. “My response to them is: ‘It is the best time of the year.’”