I ran into fellow Owl Ambassador Tom two hours before tip on Liacouras Walk. He asked how excited I was for tonight, and we both had the same feeling. Walking into the Liacouras Center is my homecoming. It’s the best excitement, the best nerves, the best calmness of anywhere on campus. It’s unbelievable how much this place feels like home.
Some of my best memories have been in this building. We stormed the court against #3 Villanova and the next year against #9 Georgetown. We threw a funeral for St. Joe’s mascot and we had the first-ever Temple whiteout against Xavier. I’ve gotten chills singing “I Believe” more times than I’ll ever remember and I’ve made these bleachers shake, pounding the seats with enthusiasm.
Basketball courts have always felt like home. I was certainly never the best player and my playing days were pretty limited to the YMCA in Houston and the court as St. Andrews. But when I go back to high school, that maple I earned my varsity letter on, that’s home. And when I walk into the Liacouras Center, see the John Chaney Court, and that huge Temple ‘][‘, that’s home.
So come Saturday, I’ll be the first one in the building. I’ll be decked out in my cherry and white. I’ll be pacing and jumping and singing and clapping and dancing and cheering and yelling. And you bet that when we beat Rice, I’ll be screaming “I Believe,” pounding the ground as hard as I can, and giving all our players our traditional post-game high fives.
This building is where is starts and ends for us Temple students. We have Convocation in these same cherry seats on our first day as Owls. And this is where it comes to a close during Commencement. And in between, there was Temple basketball. Welcome back, TUMBB. It’s good to be home.