BYU-Hawaii students huddled around the Aloha Centers television to watch and analyze the NBA Finals Game One on Thursday, June 1 between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I love how the Warriors play and pass the ball,” said Hyrum Castro, a freshman from the Philippines majoring in business operations and supply chain management. “You win championships not on a single players’ abilities but how you work as a team.”
The impromptu gathering of students showed some of the passion for basketball on campus as the viewers reacted not only with cheers for great plays but also with in-depth analysis on game strategy and player matchups. The majority of students viewing the game in the Aloha Center were international.
“The last week, I’ve had lots of discussions here and with friends back home about the matchup. It has been all finals talk,” said Will Krueger, a freshman from New Zealand majoring in social work.
Most of the students appeared to be rooting for Kevin Durant and the Warriors, but Krueger and a few others were hoping for a Cavalier victory.
“I’m praying for a Cavaliers win because I want Lebron to eclipse MJ and become the greatest of all time. If he beats the Warriors then he has a pretty strong argument,” said Krueger.
The Warriors would go on to win 113-91 to take a 1-0 series lead.
“I think the Warriors will win the series,” said Sitani Vaitaki, a freshman from Tonga majoring in business. “Most of the Golden State Warriors can hit 3 point shots so I think that gives them an advantage to win. Also they trust each other. If you don’t trust your teammates, then you don’t play your best.”
Vaitaki added, “I was walking through and saw everyone sitting over here and decided it would be fun to watch the game.”
Initially, there was a disruption of the television service, but the students promptly gathered around each other’s devices to view the games live stream. The Aloha Center staff quickly fixed the problem with the help of other invested students.