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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Faas

Third Time’s a Charm: Year three of the MAAC Basketball trip

By: Natalie Faas, contributor

Sitting in the lobby of the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City last night had me reflecting. I have gone on the C-Block MAAC Basketball trip for three straight years, cheering on the Canisius basketball teams. While they have all been in the beautiful — and slightly scary — Atlantic City, NJ, every trip has been different in its own special way. As a senior, I think I have a unique view on this trip and on my C-Block experience in general. 

The first year I made the seven-hour bus trip to Atlantic City, I was a sophomore and was the only underclassman on the trip. The day of the trip our bus canceled on us and we ended up having to squeeze on one Niagara Scenic Tours bus with the Dance Griffs, Cheerleaders and the Pep Band. At this time, the spirit squads were not too fond of each other, either.

Nonetheless, we made it to The Showboat Hotel and began our trip. C-Block was extremely lucky at The Showboat, and we avoided the bedbugs… the cheer and dance teams were less lucky. This was the year that the women’s basketball team made history by beating the number six-team Monmouth, which was the first time in history the 12-seed won in the opening round. It was on this trip that I realized I actually enjoyed basketball.  

My second year on the trip was extremely stressful. As the president of C-Block, there were many bumps in the road. There was also a large chance that we were not going to be able to make it on the trip. Thanks to the hard work of GA Lachlan Beever (and after a lot of tears), we made it to Caesars Hotel at one in the morning and immediately crashed. The next day we arrived at the Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall and watched the women’s and men’s basketball teams in back-to-back losses to Mount St. Mary’s, including the heartbreaking double overtime loss for the men. We were in Atlantic City for a total of 36 hours. 

This year, I went on the trip with the unique experience of being a past president and also a seasoned veteran of the trip. I know my way around the boardwalk; I know how to get places; and, most importantly, I know to use every last drop of per diem money the school sends you with. I have also had the pleasure of watching many of the underclassmen experience this trip for the first time. I've had new experiences, as well, for one, we are staying in this massive Tropicana complex. The hotel includes more restaurants than you could ever imagine, what must be thousands of slot machines and a full blown mall. I have never had the pleasure of going to the Band Jam on the boardwalk or the Pep Showcase, both of which have been highlights of this year. Another first, I have never seen the men’s basketball team win in Atlantic City, so that was absolutely a highlight of the trip. 

While I am writing this, we are getting ready for the women’s basketball game, which could possibly be the last college basketball game I ever watch as a student. It’s moments like these that sneak up on you. Listen to this Grandma Griff as I give you some advice: make the most of these years. I know it sounds dumb and cliche, but sooner rather than later you will end up like me, less than two months away from graduation, and you will realize that you should’ve had more fun. So don’t waste the time you do have. 

Anyways, that’s enough from me. Good Luck, God Bless and, as always… go Griffs!

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