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High-fiving the starters as they’re announced…I’m in this photo I swear…

It’s my favorite time of year: IT’S BASKETBALL SEASON!

To continue my reasons as to why I love the end of the year, basketball plays a very large role. Not only is it NBA season, but it is also the start of college basketball. As the spirited Cal student that I am, I am of course super excited to start cheering on my Golden Bears.

I’ve been following our team everywhere–from live streams, to live games in Haas Pavilion–I’ve even travelled all the way to Vegas to watch the Pac-12 Basketball Tournament. (Not to mention, it was FREE because I was one of the students who attended the most home games!) If you ever go to a Cal Basketball game, trust me when I say I am NOT hard to miss.

My classic “you tried” star…I may or may not bring this to every game


I am a big fan of memes, so of course I carry this lovely “You Tried” star at the games to celebrate when our team is playing better than our opponents. Two years ago, my friends and I started this “Free Throw Distraction Crew” to distract the opposing team while shooting free throws. We have made a large variety of random cutouts to distract with, and this star is only one of the bunch. Other forms of distraction include the very difficult human bicycle and the human seesaw. But I promise you, they work (occasionally) and I’d say I deserve some bragging rights when the visiting team misses a free throw…

Aside from when I am waving weird cardboard cutouts in the air, I am also a pretty loud cheerer in the crowds. When I’m not sitting behind the hoops, I usually sit behind the commentator’s bench right in the middle of the student section. I pick this spot because I believe it has the biggest impact for my screaming. As a student section, we are very dedicated towards screaming endlessly when we’re on defense–and I would say I am especially dedicated. I was once asked by an official to quiet down because my voice specifically was picking up in the live feed. (I can actually hear myself in some of the highlight videos!)

But I’m not writing this post just to brag about the cool things I do during basketball–although come on…they’re pretty cool… I’m hear to share the culture of “The Bench” at Basketball games. It’s a strong spirited unity, not in the same way it is during football. Haas Pavilion is a smaller facility, and I think it brings the fans closer together. You’re closer to the game, closer to each other. Whenever I watch a Cal Basketball game, I feel like I’m part of this giant Cal family ready to take on any team, together. As the team’s motto says “Together, we attack!” Even though I am not an athletically gifted student on the court, I really feel like a part of the community at these games. And with the home opener taking place this week, I can’t wait for all the great moments I’ll have with my fellow Cal Fans this season.

Not to mention, all the chances to be on TV!

I made it on the Pac-12 network!

Author: Leeza Cruz

Hi everyone! My name is Leeza and I am a junior studying Economics and Legal Studies, with a minor in music! I am a very spirited person, and a big fan of sports. If you're ever trying to find me, I'm probably watching a game. I hope to eventually work in the Sports Industry in the future! But aside for my love for athletics, I am also very passionate about equity and inclusion. Berkeley is full of so many different diverse cultures, and I am always open to sharing and learning new perspectives. From my perspectives of the game, to my involvement in the community, I can't wait to share my experiences with you all!