After playing 13 home games this season, California Baptist University men’s basketball has averaged 2,262 attendees in the Events Center.
That number, according to ncaa.com, is the fourth-best average attendance in NCAA Division II basketball.
That number is quite the improvement from the 2016-2017 season, when the Lancers brought just under 800 fans on average to home games in Van Dyne Gymnasium.
This increase in attendance is due, in large part, to students and CBU basketball fans, such as Will Yih, senior healthcare administration and business administration double major. Yih estimates he has attended between 30 and 40 home basketball games while at CBU.
“Basketball games on campus are a fun and exciting way to enhance your college experience,” Yih said. “The excitement and intensity of seeing college athletes perform at such a high level is a must-see.”
For home games, Yih said being in the Events Center has made attending games thrilling.
“You almost get a professional NBA game experience,” Yih said. “And it’s been a very on-your-feet type of feeling.”
Stephen Bossert, senior aviation unmanned systems major and head Crazie, said he appreciates having fans such as Yih at basketball games.
“It helps to know there are more students that want to come and cheer on their fellow Lancers,” Bossert said. “When students bring their own energy it translates to other students and creates a ripple effect.”
Vinnie Aven, assistant athletic director of Fan Engagement and Marketing at CBU, said the Events Center is a place opposing teams enjoy visiting. However, Aven said that only lasts until tip-off
“Our students and fans have been getting louder each game,” Aven said, “making it harder on visiting teams to play, and giving a boost to our Lancers on the court.”
Aven went on to praise the fans energizing the team and pushing them to victories.
“It’s really our CRAZIE student section, cheerleaders, Lancer pep-band, season ticket holders and community fans that create the real electricity to power our teams to victory,” Aven said.
As an experienced Lancer fan, Yih had some advice for current students.
“After you graduate from college, you won’t have that level of pride in your school’s team ever again,” Yih said. “Take advantage of it.”