When talking about the Glasgow Rocks we all think of the players that take to the court every week. What we don’t always remember is that there are a number of people working hard in the background in order to ensure game nights run as smoothly as possible. Therefore our next Back to Back Threes article features Jenni Melvin, one of the Rocks match day volunteers. Here’s what she had to say in response to our questions.
1. Can you give a brief summary of what being part of the game day crew involves?
“We arrive at the arena ‘around’ 2pm to set up merchandise, raffles, programmes and tickets (I usually crawl in around 2:30pm). Everything is in the Rocks office and is usually left out for us to take down. After a few trips in the lift, several boxes and manikins later we are ready to set up. It only takes around 30 – 45 minutes to do merchandise. Often we have to do stock checks in order to see what our most popular items are. We currently have a bet on about who will drop the set of plastic drawers – I’m the favourite to do it!
We usually have a quick break around 3pm and you can often find us in the cafe crying over the price of food. We are then back at merchandise for 3:50pm ready for doors opening.
After the game has started we rotate around so we get to see some of the game. If you are really lucky you will be on floor mopping duty! Some of you may have seen myself or others dive out of the way from an oncoming player. Will Hall nearly landed on Fiona (one of the other crew members) recently – it’s not for the faint hearted! (Quick note to the Mopper’s Supporters Club sitting in Block BB – we thank you for your wonderful and loving cheers during our time on court!)
After the game has finished we go back to merchandise to pack everything up. We then head upstairs for a well deserved singalong to High School Musical!”
2. What’s the funniest conversation you have heard between a player and a ref or between two players?
“This is a difficult question as I don’t go too far onto the court anymore and it is often difficult to hear what is going on. I can remember some events from sitting courtside. For example one player got kicked in the genitals on court last year and JB just laughed, Sterling had a ‘wild’ moment in Kelvinhall (I was quite scared of Sterling at one point!), Thorsten Libenath nearly had Chris Dodds (the referee) for lunch and one of my favourite moments was when Courtney was nearly landed on by a player in Kelvinhall and myself, Matt and the rest of the arena just laughed!”
3. How did you become involved with the Rocks?
“I was 12 years old in an era where you saved your lunch money for the weekend and fake Burberry was in fashion. I saw a poster for Twilight basketball sessions that were taking place in my local high school. I went along one Friday night and was hooked. I used to help out at the Easter and Summer camps before being asked by the Rocks if I would like to be one of the match day crew members. So one Sunday in October 2005 I wandered into Braehead Arena and met Matt for the first time (he was 16 with glasses and a hair full of gel!). Ten seasons later I’m described as the bad smell that the guys can’t get rid of!”
4. Two crew members have had their mop taken from them due to an impatient player. How would you deal with such a situation?
“I would probably laugh and let him do the mopping before scoring him out of 10! I may tell him it wasn’t a very nice thing to do – we all here to do a job and his is to perform on the court! If we are losing then I’d probably say he should maybe focus on his own job…It has never happened to me yet!”
5. Since you started with the Rocks what season has been your favourite and why?
“My favourite season was when Blake Shelton played for us. We had an amazing chance to beat Newcastle. We were number 2 in the league and so were winning most of our games before Blake tore his Achilles tendon and was sidelined for the rest of the season. It was such an exciting season and we came so close to winning the league. We were sure that this season would be OUR season!”
6. If you could bring back any past Rocks player who would it be and why?
“As mentioned above I really liked Blake Shelton as a player”