AMES — The things we do for love.
Iowa State students starting camping outside Hilton Coliseum Thursday at noon for Friday night’s Iowa-ISU men’s basketball game, which had a tipoff time of 8:40 p.m. They were allowed into the arena two hours before the game, over 30 hours after the tent city started to form.
“Because it’s an Iowa-Iowa State game and Iowa State men’s basketball, said ISU student Nicole Zitelman of Strawberry Point.
Zitelman was part of a group of 12 who took their shifts in a tent that accommodated five.
“Basically, it’s first-come, first-serve,” she said. “That’s why it’s a huge deal to get here as soon as you can.
“There was one tent ahead of us, with eight to 12 guys from a fraternity.”
When the doors were opened to the Cyclone Alley denizens, Zitelman said she got trampled and fell. “A security guard yelled ‘Stop!’ and I got up,” she said. She quickly recovered and grabbed a front-row seat behind one of the two baskets, with her group of tent-mates.
“It was cold,” she said, “but we shared a generator with the tent behind us, and we both had space heaters.”
Zitelman was allowed to attend Thursday night’s Iowa-Iowa State women’s basketball game and retain her place in line.
“(ISU men’s coach) Fred Hoiberg sent pizzas to five or so tents while we were at the women’s game,” Zitelman said. (ISU) President Leath and his wife came and talked to us last night after we won the game, to make sure we were OK and nobody was getting hyp0thermia.
“This morning we got free coffee and doughnuts from Dunkin’ Donuts. McDonald’s gave us breakfast sandwiches. Cy the mascot brought them to us. So we’ve been feeling the love from people. It’s nice to know you’re recognized.”
Zitelman missed two classes Friday. She said she already done the work that was going to be done in one of them, and she got a friend to take notes for her in the other. She said she’ll spend the weekend studying. And getting warm.