Men’s Basketball Student Section Finds Fresh Start In ‘Legion Of Blue’
In regards to the die-hard fans of Penn State athletics, the coined term “Nittany Nation” is used to encompass all supporters of the various sports represented at the university. This is why the newly renamed men’s basketball student section, the Legion Of Blue, and its executive committee, decided to take action in the 2015 fall semester and rebrand the group to create more of a distinct name for itself, while also hyping up the promising future of Pat Chambers’ and company.
Penn State basketball is preparing to enter a watershed year with its 2016 recruiting class. Additions such as Nazeer Bostick, Tony Carr, Joe Hampton, and Lamar Stevens dubbed this class as the best recruiting efforts this program has ever seen. In response, the student section felt it was time for a change.
“With great young players coming in this year, and the second-ranked Big Ten recruiting class for next year, we thought it would be a great opportunity to have a fresh start and new beginning,” Vice President Nick Malizia said. With the guidance of Penn State Men’s Basketball’s marketing manager Loren Crispell, and high energy from Coach Chambers, the committee held brainstorming sessions that produced 65 potential names for the new section and finally decided that the Legion Of Blue was the clear-cut winner.
After approval from the athletics department, basketball program, and Coach Chambers himself, it was officially time for the students to get to work. The section also wanted to have a bigger impact on social media, so Alissa Clendenen, a representative of the Men’s Basketball social media accounts, helped the Legion Of Blue with its transition on Twitter and Facebook and widely promoted the new brand.
“Since our inception, the student section has vastly grown in numbers,” Legion Of Blue Secretary Adriana Lacy said. “During games, the students strive to promote an intimidating atmosphere for all visiting teams, as well as a vocal presence for our Nittany Lions.”
The Legion Of Blue also focused much of its efforts on designing an animated gang of passionate fans, saying that athletes, as well as anyone else, feed a lot on an energetic atmosphere. “When high energy is coming from a crowd, [the game] just gets that much better,” Junior Officer Greg Zelinske said. “Recruits want a great playing environment, and when they see [that environment], they’re more likely to go to that specific school.”
The idea of coming together as a community, as a fan base, and as a family grabs the attention of potential recruits. As they see it, they’ll note that the future of Penn State basketball is clearly no joke. The Legion Of Blue describes itself as a crucial part of the favorable future, whether it is directly involved with the basketball team or not.
With the foundation finally set in stone, the student leaders of the Legion Of Blue continue to reach to new heights, while also letting the Penn State community know that We Are…finally a basketball school.
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Is losing three recruits in less than a week weird? Absolutely. Should you be freaking out about the long-term health of Penn State’s ability to recruit?…Probably not.
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