Calhoun, YSU’s men’s team hold meet-and-greet
By ALEXIS BARTOLOMUCCI
Jerrod Calhoun was pleased with the welcome he received at the Penguin Premiere on Thursday at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.
“The turnout here shows that the people of Youngstown really want a winner in basketball,” the new Youngstown State university men’s basketball coach said.
YSU hosted the inaugural event for fans and community members to have the opportunity to meet Calhoun, the coaching staff and the team. A room filled with fans enjoyed tailgate food and watched films.
“I think they’re going to support us, I think they’ll be really excited when the season starts after football,” Calhoun said.
Some of the fans were YSU students. Sophomore Shelby Jordan attended with her family. She said she knows most of the basketball players, but doesn’t know the coaches.
“It’s overall a good program,” Jordan said. “I think it’s very beneficial.”
The program started out with the fans walking in and meeting Calhoun and the rest of the coaching staff.
Films were shown for everyone to watch as they finished their meals. The videos showed highlights of the teams that YSU will be playing, highlights of all of the current players, highlights from the summer and a message from YSU President Jim Tressel when Calhoun was hired.
“This is really a nice event,” senior guard Cameron Morse said. “We get to see everybody in the community who has been supporting us.”
Calhoun said he wants to show the fans the involvement the team and coaches have had in the community from the time they coaches were hired.
“Getting out into the community is a really big thing. It helps people get to know who you are,” Morse said. “It lets the team know the community has our back and supports us.”
Morse said the opportunity for fans to meet the players they cheer for is not something that happens very often. He thinks how Calhoun and the coaching staff has worked to get the team out into the community has been beneficial for both fans and players.
The fans asked Calhoun questions about YSU and the team.
The basketball team was brought out at the end and introduced to the fans.
“Players — they want to get to know the fans,” Calhoun said. “When fans see their favorite players or they see their hometown team play there’s that attachment — that’s really what sports does, it brings people together and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Morse is looking forward to his senior year and going out with a bang. He and his team had a big change when it came to getting a new coach, but they have worked well together and said Calhoun has taught them something new everyday on and off the court.