You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

For Jackets, Madison Square Garden worth savoring

It’s more than just a game, and it’s more than just an arena.

Georgia Tech’s trip to New York to play in the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden hasn’t been taken lightly by the Yellow Jackets. After beating Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night, Tech players saw playing in “the world’s most famous arena,” as MSG is humbly billed, as a treat unto itself.

“First of all, it was a blessing to play here,” guard Justin Moore said. “I think just playing in Madison Square Garden was energy.”

When Tech players came to the arena in the early afternoon Tuesday for a shootaround, they let down their guards. Banners honoring Knicks and Rangers greats hang from the rafters. It was the home court for NBA greats Walt Frazier, Bill Bradley and Patrick Ewing, among others. Elvis Presley, John Lennon and U2 have performed there. It has hosted the NBA Finals, the Stanley Cup Finals, Democratic and Republican conventions, the Big East Tournament and more.

“I think during shootaround, I soaked in everything,” Moore said.

Tech has played in some noteworthy college basketball arenas this season alone — Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium, VCU’s Siegel Center and Syracuse’s Carrier Dome. This was a little different.

“When we were here for shootaround, I kind of looked around because this place is so huge,” center Ben Lammers said. “I’ve played in some big stadiums, but this is one of the biggest ones I’ve played in. It’s been fun.”

The immensity of the arena, which seats 19,812 for basketball, caught Lammers flush.

“Just the size, mostly, how tall it is and how far it goes back,” he said. “Because, I mean, a place like UNC and all those places hold 20,000 some people, so I’m somewhat used to this, but this seems like so much space.”

The entire trip has been different than most trips. After a week of spring break that included Tech’s win at Ole Miss on March 21 in an NIT quarterfinal, the Jackets flew to New York on Sunday. They’re staying in Times Square and have been permitted time to go exploring.

“There’s so many places to go to,” he said. “They give us enough time to walk around and explore a little bit and try to see New York City, which is nice. Sometimes you go to these cool places, but you can’t do anything because you’re always playing basketball.”

Among his discoveries — an ice cream shop called 10Below.

“It’s almost like they start off with milk and they pour it on this cold slab and spread it out a lot and scrape it off and it would come up in rolls,” Lammers said.

The Tuesday win affords the Jackets more time to explore and another night in the Garden.

“Just the air,” forward Quinton Stephens said. “You can’t help but love playing here. It’s a basketball player’s dream.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

‘Folty’ gives up 5 runs early, Braves lose to Giants
‘Folty’ gives up 5 runs early, Braves lose to Giants

SAN FRANCISCO – If anyone figured the Braves would catch a break this series with Giants ace Madison Bumgarner on the disabled list, Ty Blach had other ideas. Blach, the rookie left-hander filling in for the big lefty, did something of a Bumgarner impersonation by taking a three-hit shutout to the eighth inning in a 6-3 Giants win Saturday night...
5 things to watch at Falcons OTAs this week
5 things to watch at Falcons OTAs this week

The Falcons will start their organized team activities (non-contact practices), a week behind most other teams because they were cited for excessive contact last season, on Tuesday. The team had three OTA sessions taken away by the NFL. In addition to Tuesday, they will practice on Thursday and Friday, June 5-6 and June 8-9. The mandatory minicamp...
Michael Vick wants one more day as  an Atlanta Falcon
Michael Vick wants one more day as  an Atlanta Falcon

Few people likely thought Michael Vick would ever be an Atlanta Falcon again -- in any capacity for any length of time. But the quarterback apparently has given it a lot of thought. Vick, 37, told 92.9 The Game that he has talked with the Falcons about signing a one-day contract and officially retiring with the team that drafted him in 2001. But Vick...
Pitcher Garcia puts some Kemp hitting tips to good use
Pitcher Garcia puts some Kemp hitting tips to good use

SAN FRANCISCO – After Braves pitcher Jaime Garcia drove in the winning run with a two-out single in the seventh inning of Friday night’s 2-0 win against the Giants, the left-hander gave credit to Matt Kemp for providing some recent hitting tips. “I don’t hit as much as other (pitchers) do between starts, but I like to talk to...
Dream clamp down to beat Sparks
Dream clamp down to beat Sparks

It’s no surprise that the Dream would have a day like Saturday, when scoring was so often a struggle, but Atlanta put the clamps on the Los Angeles Sparks and topped the defending WNBA champions 75-73 by defending. Emerging scorer Tiffany Hayes put up 24 points, continuing to grow her game in the absence of dynamic scorer Angel McCoughtry as...
More Stories