St. John’s women’s basketball suffered a devastating defeat last weekend, though it wasn’t their loss to NC State in the quarterfinals of the WNIT. It was actually the attendance at their last two games at Carnesecca Arena; after all the hard work the team put into making it to the postseason, almost no one from the university they were playing for showed up to their games.
The women’s basketball team played a great season this year, giving fans of St. John’s basketball something to look forward to. Unlike the men’s team, the women made it to the postseason and even had the opportunity to play two home games. Yet the women’s games get almost no attention from students.
Though the women did not make it to the NCAA tournament, they played well and even had a decisive victory against highly ranked Notre Dame during the regular season. Clearly, the team has talent and showed they could compete with any team on any given night. Unfortunately, an embarrassing minority of students took enough interest to learn this.
When the season finally came to an end, the women stepped up to the WNIT with the same determination and talent that they had brought throughout the entire year.
The first game, against Iona, was held here on campus. Although this was the first taste of postseason play that any St. John’s basketball team had seen this year, the home game had a meager attendance of 520 people.
The team pulled through and managed to win their way to the second round of the tournament. This time, St. John’s played Boston College in another home game. One would imagine that a tournament win for the Red Storm in the first round would generate a surge of enthusiasm among the student body. However, the game had an embarrassing turnout of just 394 – even less than the game before it.
Where was the support for women’s basketball? It seems as if no one noticed or cared to pay attention to the impressive achievements of the team.
In comparison to St. John’s fans, the attendance of the third game, held at North Carolina State, was astronomical. While our home postseason games could barely muster 500 spectators, at best, the NC State game had a turnout of 1,651 fans.
The entire St. John’s community should feel ashamed.
No team can win without the support of their school. To have a home game in the postseason with such low attendance is something no team should be faced with. It’s also a shame that the people who go to see the men’s games – a much larger group of people – do not bother to find out how the women’s team is doing.
Student apathy at St. John’s has been a problem around campus for years, but the low turnout for the latest women’s basketball games is perhaps the most embarrassing display yet. The school has been doing a decent job promoting its games, so the blame cannot be placed on its shoulders. Rather, the students themselves are losing interest in St. John’s – whether it be sporting events or even music concerts (as illustrated by the low turnout for the well-advertised Common concert last semester).
A new mindset is needed for students, and one way to generate that is through sports. If students can begin to rally behind its teams – especially the hard-working and deserving ones like this year’s women’s basketball team – then maybe school spirit can be salvaged.
Next year, let’s hope that students can fill at least 10 percent of Carnesecca Arena for our women’s basketball team, and show support for a team that truly deserves it.