COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State hosted nearly 4,000 students from Columbus City Schools for the women’s basketball game against New Hampshire on Thursday.
Students who maintained good attendance were invited to the game, which featured 48 CCS schools and 98 buses carrying thousands of excited kids.
“Holy cow I knew it was going to be loud. I didn’t know it was going to be that loud,” Ohio State women’s basketball forward Cotie McMahon said.
The home court advantage was thanks to many kids who had never been to a Buckeyes basketball game.
“The arena? I was like holy guacamole. This stadium is so big,” Leawood Elementary 5th grader Grady Johnson V said.
“So many of them don’t have the opportunity to go to a football game or basketball game, so I appreciate what our district did to be able to give them this opportunity today,” Leawood Elementary principal Maria Malik said.
The opportunity was made possible by a collaboration between CCS, The Ohio State University and the 2nd and 7 Foundation.
“Oh it was amazing to see the kids faces,” CCS director of attendance Tyree Pollard said. “All of them said ‘Oh this is amazing, this my first time here, I never been here, it’s the mascot, this place is huge, it’s a mansion.’ To see the faces, the smiles and the joy of the kids, that was the best part.”
The students saw OSU beat the Wildcats 92-36 as the Buckeyes held New Hampshire to seven points in the second half.
“It was exciting just to see the enormity of the district, all of the students coming in, the buses, the lines, it’s a phenomenal experience,” Trevitt Elementary principal Keisha Fletcher-Bates said.
The district hopes this first event of its kind turns into an annual tradition.