At least one student-athlete from each Association school will blog about a UAA basketball road weekend this season.
Javier Alvarez, Case Western Reserve University
Playing in the UAA is definitely a privilege. Not only is it one of the strongest conferences in NCAA Division III, but also the unique location of each university requires us to fly to our away games.
This past weekend, we were lucky enough to travel to New York City and Waltham, Massachusetts, to compete against NYU and Brandeis. We stayed in a hotel down the street from Madison Square Garden and just a few minutes away from Times Square.
Both the men’s and women’s team were given the opportunity to explore the city on Thursday night and we definitely took advantage of it. The New York Knicks were playing a home game against the Chicago Bulls so some of us went and walked around MSG and grabbed a bite of famous New York "pie" at a local pizza place.
Afterwards, we took some of the younger guys who had never been to New York to see Times Square and Broadway. Throughout the night, we walked into all sorts of stores, bakeries, restaurants, and we even stopped by the Ripley’s "Believe It or Not!" exhibition in Times Square. It is always fun hanging out with the women’s team. We take pride in each other’s success and many of them are my close friends.
Friday morning was a little complicated as the women’s team got stuck in traffic on the way to the scheduled walk through, which in turn delayed us from getting to the gym. We took the opportunity to go as a team to Ground Zero and checked out the surrounding area.
Photo: CWRU men's basketball team in New York City
We then shifted our attention towards the game and after a few hours of down time at the hotel and a film session, we headed to the gym (at Hunter College) to watch the women’s game.
Early Saturday morning, both teams boarded the bus headed out of New York City to Waltham. Upon arriving, both teams headed to the gym for practice and film. After practice, we all had dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant and then returned to the hotel where I joined some of the guys watching the Houston Texans-New England Patriots game.
Early Sunday morning we had breakfast at the hotel and then headed to the gym to loosen up and get ready for our game (the men's games on Sundays begin at noon). After the game, it is UAA tradition that the home team hosts a social where both men's teams can eat and hang out before the start of the women’s game.
After three years of the socials, I’ve become friends with quite a few of the guys from the other
schools so it is always nice to catch up with them and talk about how our respective seasons. Once the women’s game was over, we all got back on the bus. After a long weekend of exploring New York, travelling, and most importantly playing basketball, we headed to the airport.
Javier Alvarez, a senior guard and co-captain, currently ranks third in UAA games in three-pointers, and ranks among the top-10 in field goal percentage, assists, and steals. He recently moved into 19th place all-time in the program's history with 81 career steals.