March 13, 2014

My Championship Experience – 2014 Men’s Basketball Edition

My Championship Experience is a diary blog written by Summit League student-athletes detailing their experiences at each of the 19 Championships.

North Dakota State sophomore Chris Kading writes about his experience at the 2014 Summit League Men’s Basketball Championship:

Sunday (3.9.14)

We left for Sioux Falls, S.D., at 10 a.m. Sunday morning.  The bus ride takes about three and a half hours but we stopped to eat in Watertown, S.D., at around noon and got to Sioux Falls around 2 p.m. We went straight to practice at the University of Sioux Falls and got in an hour of good work.  After that we headed to the hotel to shower and eat before we went over to the arena to watch the other games being played that night.  Everyone ate again when we returned to the hotel then we just relaxed or did some homework before it was lights out for the night.

Monday (3.10.14)

Wake-up call was at 8:30 a.m. and we immediately went down to breakfast to fuel up for the day.  We went over to the arena to shoot around for a little bit and do a walk-through.  After walk-through, we went back to the hotel to shower, eat, and relax for a little while.  Most of the guys did some homework if they had some or just watched some TV.  Our pregame meal was at 2 p.m. and we watched film on the other team after.

There was a little time to kill before we left for the arena.  Everyone has their own pregame routine and we started to really focus in on the game.  We’ve been waiting to play for a week, so everyone was raring to go.  We got to the arena an hour and a half before the game and did some stretching to get our bodies ready to play.  Warm ups went by quickly and everyone was excited for tip off.  The game started and all the guys came ready to play.  We had a great game and moved onto the championship on Monday night.  After the game we ate and watched the other semi-final game before heading back to the hotel to rest up for Tuesday.

Tuesday (3.11.14)

2014 Summit League Men's Basketball Championship
(Photo by Inertia Sports Media)
We’ve been waiting all year for this day, and now it was finally here!  Wake-up call was at 9 a.m. today and we kept almost the same schedule as the day before.  We went to eat, got to shoot around and walk-through, then come back to shower, eat, and relax.  We had a film session at 1 p.m. then everyone hopped in the pool after.  On each road trip we make a whirlpool as a team, so we kept the tradition going and did it again this trip.  After this quick swim we had some down time and just relaxed until pregame meal at 4 p.m.  We ate our meal, watched film, and killed some time before heading to the arena. 

Everyone was eager and energized before the game, but the atmosphere in our locker room was as relaxed as it always is.  We got warmed up and went through our normal routine.  Before we knew it, the game was ready to start.  It was truly an incredible game.  Both teams played extremely hard and it was a battle, but we were able to make some plays down the stretch and grind out the win.  The court was stormed, the nets were cut down, and we celebrated like we never have before.  This was what we have been dreaming about since we were young, what we have been working so hard for our entire lives, and we have finally achieved it.  There is no way to describe the feeling, but we are going dancing and this night is a memory that all of us will cherish for the rest of our lives.

Chris Kading
North Dakota State Men’s Basketball

Don’t forget to check out the next edition of My Championship Experience as it follows the Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships, April 21-23 and throughout the 2013-14 season for coverage at each of The Summit League Championships.

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