Greatest USC-UCLA basketball game ever

Excerpt from "Walt Loves the Bearcat"

cheerleaders
Performing a stunt at the UCLA @ USC basketball game in 1985.

“Both SC and UCLA were doing well enough to be talking March Madness on February 28, 1985, when they met at Pauley Pavilion, UCLA’s historic gym.

“In the match-up earlier in the month, SC beat UCLA by a point in two overtimes. This time, they slugged it out in four overtimes before UCLA missed a couple of free throws and lost.

“I’ve been to countless basketball games in my life, as a fan, as a player and as a cheerleader, but that was the greatest basketball game I’d ever experienced.

“The arena was packed — both bands, both cheerleading squads. Everyone stood for hours, leaning in so intensely, the gym felt like one of those high school barns you see in the movie Hoosiers. And I was right there, knowing it was my last USC-UCLA battle of any kind as a participant.

“Even though we lost, it never mattered. I had just witnessed the collective energy of two universities move through my soul, starting with the 13,000 people in the joint that night. Moments like that were why I chose a big-time school. Times like that were why I had been a cheerleader.”

Walt Loves the Bearcat—from Walt Loves the Bearcat
by Randy Boyd

A Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Best Romance”

Warm-spirited … resonates with soulful queries into the nature of love and life.” Bay Area Reporter

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