For parts of three men’s basketball seasons, Butler fans had the opportunity to watch former student Shelvin Mack play at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Now Butler alumni have the opportunity to witness Mack in action in a NBA game.
Organized by the Butler University Washington, D.C. Alumni Chapter, the event will give Butler alumni and students in the area the chance to see Mack and the rest of the Washington Wizards host the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday in the nation’s capital.
Monique Wise, associate director of alumni programs, said the idea of seeing a Wizards’ game was mentioned during a chapter conference call last fall.
“Several committee members had brought up the idea of attending a Wizards game so we could see Shelvin play because it would be Shelvin’s first year, and he is a Butler alumnus,” Wise said.
In addition to taking in an NBA game, attendees will get to take part in a meet-and-greet with Mack after the contest.
Wise said Mack did not hesitate to say yes when asked if he would do a meet-and-greet.
“He was very excited that Butler alumni would want to come and see him,” Wise said. “He was very honored and very happy to hear that.”
This is the second such event that a Butler alumni chapter has organized this year.
The school’s Atlanta chapter arranged for alumni to attend a game between former student Gordon Hayward’s Utah Jazz and the Atlanta Hawks earlier in the NBA season.
Attendees for that event also got to meet with Hayward after the game.
Lauren Cialone, president of the Washington, D.C., chapter, said that the Butler alumni office handled the logistics of setting up the event, including securing tickets and communicating with Mack.
Cialone said she feels the event is a great opportunity for alumni who live outside of Washington, D.C.
“There are folks and families who live a little farther out, and this gives them a chance to be able to come out here for the weekend and participate in the activity,” Cialone said.
Wise said the event was not easy to set up because of the NBA lockout, which shortened the current season.
Wise said the alumni office also had to work around Butler President Jim Danko’s “Imagine the Possibilities” tour in addition to finding a game that a majority of alumni could potentially attend.
Michael Landes, a 2008 graduate and member of the Washington, D.C., chapter, said the event could not come at a better time, especially with many local Butler alumni being involved in election season activities.
“Everyone’s really excited,” Landes said. “They want to see Shelvin and show their support for him during the game.”
Tickets for the event cost $35 each, and Wise said that 20 tickets had been sold as of Monday morning.
Landes said those who are already attending the game are “pumped, big time.”
“I know the Wizards have been kind of lackluster lately as far as their record, but nobody really cares about that,” Landes said. “It’s a pretty good opportunity.”