Forget the Pros, Take Your Kids to Stanford Basketball

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Why worrying about the hassle and ticket price to take a family to a Warriors game when a nationally-ranked team is right in our back yard? Stanford Women’s Basketball is electrifying and family-friendly, and while all of that goes for the men’s team, too, the women are nationally ranked.

Here’s why you should go

Every seat is near the action. We went to a women’s game recently and had the luck to sit courtside. We sat up high during our first Stanford basketball game, but the seats were still close. It’s a college stadium, after all. The close seats lets kids see how the game should be played close up. We got to see how Gonzaga players had tension and panic on their faces, while Stanford forward Chiney Ogwumike looked focused, yet at ease. Also, I caught a foul ball (is that what they are called in basketball), which impressed my son and illustrates how close we were sitting.

It’s family-friendly. The parking is free and easy, ticket costs are relatively low, the energy is high, and as I know from experience, a bag a popcorn can help keep an antsy kid engaged. Basketball games are two-hour outings, whereas football seems to occupy an entire day.

The players are real role models. This applies to any Stanford sport: these kids are working hard. Not only did they get admitted on academic merit (yes, academic. Stanford doesn’t lower its academic standards for athletes), but they have to work hard to maintain that and excel at their sport. That always deserves to be applauded. While waiting for the basketball game to begin, we saw the Stanford football team walking toward their practice field to prepare for the Rose Bowl. For my kids, there isn’t a difference between Stanford sports and professionals. My kids openly stared because for them, watching the football players walk was no different than had they seen the 49ers.

When to go?

Now. Go now. The schedules for men’s and women’s basketball go into March, but they have a few home games coming up over holiday break. This means that without Stanford students in the crowd, they need support. Also, it means there are more seats open. Even if you have a bleacher seat high up, they often run an option to trade up your seats by tweeting your location (watch the scoreboard for details).

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If basketball is not your family’s thing, Stanford has many other student athletes to cheer on, and most sports are free to attend.

Disclosure: We were given the tickets to Stanford vs Gonzaga from the Stanford Athletics Dept. I’ve written about Stanford sports prior to receiving the tickets and my opinion hasn’t changed. 

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