For the second time in recent memory, the Boston Celtics will beplaying a preseason game at the Mullins Center on campus at my alma mater the University of Massachusetts. The match-up will pit the Cs against the Philadelphia 76ers, their last meeting at the Amherst arena unfolding back in 2008. As a UMass alum who still fondly remembers seeing the Cs at the Mullins Center that year, I know I'll be there again when the game takes place on October 19th.
Sure, the Celtics may have lost that 2008 game 98-92, but that hardly mattered. The chance to see the newly crowned NBA champs, the undisputed heroes doing their thing in as intimate a venue as the Mullins Center was a golden opportunity. The excitement in the crowd that night was as palpable as any sporting event I've been to.
When I call the Mullins Center "intimate," I'm not just referring to the 9,000 or so seats. When I called the UMass Amherst campus my home from 2003 to 2007, the Mullins Center was mere minutes from my dorm room. It was the place where I cemented what will be a lifelong passion for UMass's own basketball teams, the Minutemen and Minutewomen.