While there was plenty of excitement on the court during the Newcastle University Basketball Club’s annual Alumni Game on 21 April, it can be argued that even more excitement occurred when the teams cleared the floor.
During the first few minutes of the event, the current players on the women’s side scored their first basket of the game just like they would in a normal competition. From there is where all normalcy ended, though, as the Old Girls point guard called out a special play called “Gators,” which was the cue for both teams to run off the court.
With both teams sidelined, one player on the Old Girls team, Emily Jackson, was left in the middle of the court. She was not told about the “Gators” play, and thus was very confused at the scene occurring in front of her. As Jackson’s teammates distracted her by passing the ball around her in a circle, Old Boys’ player (and Jackson’s boyfriend) Tom Hall left the men’s scrimmage, crossed the women’s court and approached Jackson.[pullquote]Hall chose to propose during the Alumni Game because basketball had brought the couple together[/pullquote]
Those who had the job of distracting Jackson saw that Tom was in position, and departed to join the rest of the group. Jackson, still confused as ever, turned to face the crowd and was shocked to see Hall on one knee at centre court (take notes, fellas). Hall proposed, Jackson said yes, of course, and the rest is history as all of Team Newcastle – alumni and current players alike – joined in on the celebration as the couple was officially engaged.
Hall chose to propose during the Alumni Game because basketball had brought the couple together. The couple, who had been dating for eight years before the proposal, played for Team Newcastle throughout their time at uni together. After uni, they later played together on the same team (called the Gators, hence the adorable play name).
Everyone at the Courier extends their congratulations to the happy couple – not often do we see a Love and Basketball story like this one!
For the match report, click here.