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Men's Hoops Supporters Gather at Desert Financial Arena - One Goes Home with $5,000!

Jul 1, 2022

Desert Financial Arena hosted some Sun Devil men's basketball ticket holders on June 23, and one of them -- Norma Joiner -- walked away with a check for $5,000 courtesy of ASU partner Desert Financial Credit Union after a fun and casual summer evening.

It was a solid night for all and a reminder of the fun that will happen again. The program averaged nearly 8,000 fans per game in 2021-22, second-best in the Pac-12, and knows it can get back to the pre-COVID days when it set school marks with high-flying action.

The fans know good entertainment has happened and it will happen. again.

"My family of four renewed our ASU basketball season tickets because games are an exciting and easy way to spend time together outside the house. Both my wife and myself are ASU grads, and we like to stay involved any way we can to both reminisce our old memories and to create new ones with our kids," says Shane Miller.  "We have football season tickets, but the convenience of parking, easy access, and reasonable game times make ASU hoops one of our favorites events. Seeing Sparky and having a chance to high five him almost every game is an added bonus. I've been a big fan of Bobby Hurley since he came to Tempe. I love his enthusiasm, which has spread to Sun Devil nation and led to our family's season ticket renewals. Even my 4-year-old and 6-year-old kids recognize him. I could sense his excitement for the upcoming season when he spoke to us season ticket holders last Thursday. The season ticket holder get together at Desert Financial Arena was one of the most exciting ASU events my family has attended. From going behind the scenes at the arena, to taking a half court shot (and hitting back rim), hearing from Coach Hurley and staff, and watching my two kids shoot hoops on ASU's actual court - we had so much fun we're still talking about the night. I even sent a video of me hitting a 3-pointer to my old ASU roommate (who tried to walk-on in the early 2000's). Getting other passionate ASU fans together like that gives us a greater sense of Sun Devil community, which was evident in everyone's smiles as we left the arena."

"We have been going to the basketball games since our sons were little. Our boys have grown up cheering on the Sun devils. It's became a family tradition," says another Sun Devil season ticket holder Laura Sosnowitz. "We love Bobby's Hurley's energy and passion for the game and his players. We are confident in his ability to build ASU into a top ranked program. It was a fun time as a family attending the recent ASU Basketball event. It was great hearing the latest updates on the team from Bobby, as well as meeting the new women's basketball coaching staff."

"We decided to renew because win or lose, we love watching the basketball team compete," says Kelvin Wong. "It's exciting to see what Coach Hurley is building here. It also helps that Coach Hurley's teams have typically been high-paced and high-energy. He recruits well and more recently have gotten good transfers, so it keeps things exciting when we are able to compete on the recruiting front. It certainly builds anticipation for the upcoming season when we know that we have the talent to compete. Perhaps most importantly, I feel that Coach Hurley loves being at ASU and wants to build something here, and it shows in his passion on the court and his genuineness towards fans. That certainly helps me as a fan to put my support behind the program.

"I thought the event was really fun. It felt nice to have a special event for season ticket holders and my highlight was being able to shoot on the court with my toddler son. It was also nice that it was not too packed, and we appreciated that Coach Hurley was hanging out there before and after the event instead of just coming in at 6:30 to give his speech and then leaving. Having Kyle Dodd there as the MC was entertaining as well."

Everyone knows the 2020-21 hit the Sun Devil program hard in terms of momentum. In addition to a third straight NCAA Tournament appearance getting canceled in 2020 -- which would have been a first for the program since the early 1960s -- the Sun Devil had turned the corner on attendance. 

Desert Financial Arena had averaged 10,140 fans in the previous three years starting with the 2017-18 season, with 496,872 fans attending 49 Sun Devil home games, as ASU racked up a 39-10 record. In the three previous seasons in 51 home games ASU averaged 6,087 fans (310,459).

Last year nearly 8,000 fans per game came back to the games as COVID was still a concern, but there seemed to a big buzz in the building, especially for the thrilling triple-overtime win over No. 3 UCLA in February.

Check out some numbers to know attendance at Desert Financial arena, which enters its 49th year in 2022-23, as well as some recent notes and nuggets on the Sun Devils.

7,973: ASU was second in the Pac-12 in average attendance in 2021-22 with nearly 8,000 fans per game.

14,731: Nearly 15,000 fans crammed into Desert Financial Arena for the Arizona game in 2020.

180,251: As ASU reached as high as No. 3 in the Associated Press poll, over 180,000 fans canme to the 17 home games in 2017-18.

616,468: In the past four years that is the number of fans to enter Desert Financial Arena to cheer on the Sun Devils.

ABOUT FEB. 5, 2022: ASU topped No. 3 UCLA 87-84 in triple overtime on Feb. 5 and now has eight wins over AP top three teams in their history, four of them in the past 41 years (1981-92 to present). Two of them were by a Bobby-coached squad over Kansas and then the UCLA win. Random note: Bill Walton was the color commentator for all four of them in past 41 years.

ASU 87, #3 UCLA 84 3 OT (Feb. 5, 2022)/Bobby Hurley
#18 ASU 80, #1 Kansas 76 (Dec. 22, 2018)/Bobby Hurley
#16 ASU 95, at #2 Kansas 85 (Dec. 10, 2017)/Bobby Hurley
ASU 69, #2 Arizona 66 (2 OT) (Feb. 14, 2014)/Herb Sendek
#5 ASU 87, #1 Oregon State 67 (Mar. 7, 1981)/Ned Wulk
ASU 95, #3 USC 78 (Dec. 1, 1971)/Ned Wulk
ASU 68, @#2 USC (Dec.12, 1970)/Ned Wulk
ASU 89, #3 Michigan 87 (Dec. 27, 1965 at Portland Far West Classic/Ned Wulk

BEST IN NEARLY TWO DECADES: ASU's 81-57 win over Oregon (Feb. 17) and 73-53 win over Oregon State (Feb. 19) marked its first back-to-back 20-point Pac-12 wins for the first time since January of 2003, when it beat Washington by 32 (Jan. 9) and Washington State by 41 (Jan. 11).

SOLID DUBS: Bobby Hurley has led ASU to a some notable non-conference wins while at ASU including NC State, at Creighton (twice), Texas A&M, UNLV (twice), Stephen F. Austin, Kansas State, Xavier, St. John's (twice plus NCAA Tournament win), San Diego State (twice), Kansas (twice home and away), Vanderbilt and Georgia (home and away).