As a father, one of the many joys in life is watching your child experience things for the first time.  On Saturday night, my 2 1/2 year old son, Zachary, saw his first ever live college basketball game. 

My wife, Francine, and I decided to take Zach to the UAlbany/Vermont game at SEFCU Arena.  Thanks to the good people at UAlbany, we had courtside seats for this America East clash.

Courtesy 104.5 "The Team"

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At first, Zach's complaint was that it was "too loud."  He finally got used to the crowd noise and the band playing and actually loved the atmosphere.  He was able to follow the action and I explained to him the appropriate team to root for.  I simply said, "Zachary, you're supposed to cheer for the team in white and root against the team in green."  For a 2 1/2 year old, he actually understood that concept.

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Zachary was able to, sometimes, even cheer at the right time.  It was made a whole lot easier thanks to the fact that the UAlbany Cheerleaders were just a few feet away along the baseline.  They led the crowd (and my son) in the appropriate cheers each time down the court.  Whether the cheer team was chanting "Defense" or "U-A", Zach was all about following along with them the entire time.  Quite honestly, Zachary watched the cheerleaders more than the actual game - do you blame him?  He was so obsessed with the ladies, he wanted to get his picture taken with them.  Again, who can blame him?

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Now I know why all athletic teams have mascots!  Once Zach saw the UAlbany Great Dane walking around the arena, it was game over!  As in, he was done watching the basketball game and wanted to know where "the dog" was the entire time.  Needless to say, we had to take a few pics of the Dane & Zach throughout the night.

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These are the types of moments I will always cherish as a sports-loving dad!  Unfortunately, UAlbany lost to Vermont, 63-54, but it was a night I will remember for a very long time.