— The match between Zenit and Nizhny Novgorod was my first ever professional basketball game. I was not sure what to expect going into it, but I was very excited! I have been to other professional sporting events, such as hockey, football (soccer), and baseball; sporting events are always a really fun time and a great way to spend the night with friends, so despite this being my first time at a professional basketball game, I expected it to be an awesome experience.
My first impression of the Zenit game was that the arena was beautiful. The arena was really modern and within seconds of walking in the door, the atmosphere told me I was about to have a fun night. There was music, basketball hoops in the halls (to try out your skills before the game), and games for kids. Spectators were immediately having a good tim before the game even started. Once the game started, I noticed something about sporting events -- the excitement of the game and the cheering of fans is universal. I could not understand every word that was said by the announcers or by my fellow spectators, but it somehow didn’t matter because the anticipation of an intense play during the game or being upset over a bad call overcame any language differences. I found it really interesting that I could feel a bond with the people around me over the excitement of the game despite being from different countries. My favorite part of the game was when the fourth quarter ended in a tie. The entire game was really close, so everyone was on the edge of their seats, which made for a really intense game! The experience set the bar high for the next basketball game I go to. It was so much fun and love to go again!