No one was counted out, and it wasn't a clinic in the sweet science, but it was a record in the making.
A total of 600 entries – composed of the USC Aiken athletic department, faculty, staff, students and members of the community – pooled their basketball talents in an attempt to break a world record by participating in a single game of knock out. The current record for the event is 571.
It was USCA Chancellor Dr. Sandra Jordan who came up with the idea to break a world record, said Angel Miano, USC Aiken associate director of student life.
“I thought it sounded like a fun idea,” said Miano. “The original idea was to do the Macarena.”
The idea to pass on the dance came about after receiving the list of necessary requirements to establish a new record. A committee was formed and they brainstormed, considering a number of ideas before going forward with the decision to try for a new world record by playing a game of knock out.
“We talked to a number of students and asked them if they would be interested in playing a game of knock out, if that sounded like fun, and they said yes,” said Miano.
The game consists of a line of players, with the shooter having to make his shot, and if they are successful they move to the back of the line. If the player misses, after the next player shoots, they have an opportunity to finish their play before the following player makes their shot, or face elimination. Those participating in the record event received a free T-shirt, were allowed free entry into Saturday night's basketball game and were welcome to pizza in the VIP Room.
“In order to break a record, there are a lot of requirements and rules as far as the numerical order, the independent witnesses and referees,” said Miano. “It's about a 20-page packet. Once you're in (the gym), you have stay in because it has to be videotaped.”
The planning committee for the event was composed of people from the athletic department, student life, Aiken Parks, Recreation and Tourism, the city manager's office and the chancellor's office and her department, said Miano.
Each participant had their own story as to why they were taking part in Saturday afternoon's event. Spouses, children and siblings came out in support of their family members.
Stephanie Prandy, whose husband is Michael Prandy, an assistant basketball coach at USCA, is a teacher at Kennedy Middle School and invited the entire learning institution to participate.
“I haven't really had a chance to see how many of my students are here,” said Prandy. “Hopefully we have enough of them out here to break the world record.”
The world record attempt served a dual purpose as it generated publicity for the university and gave the community an opportunity to participate in a fun event, said Ahmed Samaha, USCA assistant vice chancellor of student life. A team effort was needed to make it a seamless occasion. The event was six months in the making.
“My staff did a tremendous job,” said Samaha. “They really have done a great job in figuring out how the logistics are going to work.”
Ben Baugh has been covering the equine industry and equestrian sport for the Aiken Standard since 2004.