MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Last winter, the Super Bowl. Next April, the NCAA Basketball Final Four, which means preparation is well under way.
Locally, they are generating interest by taking a show on the road, called the Fan Jam. It’s designed to wet the appetite of basketball fans with interaction. WCCO’s Mike Max paid a visit.
Out of the truck comes the road show to the Road to the Final Four. The concept is simple: Take this set up to the people, complete with video games.
“They can come out, play, challenge each other. Just have fun,” Fan Jam Director Cydni Bickerstaff said.
They cover the education component by challenging kids to read.
“And then the schools, average minutes read, top 68 schools will enter into a bracketed competition,” Bickerstaff said.
Cydni Bickerstaff is the point person. Her father coached in the NBA, her brother JB, a former Gopher, now the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies. Her job is to take this to the masses.
“We’re going to go around, we’re going to hit all 13 wards inside Minneapolis. Then we’re going to go to the outside, greater metro, then we’re going to go across the state,” Bickerstaff said.
You can challenge someone to shoot hoops. Ok let’s go small ball, make it easier. And you can have your picture taken with the championship trophy.
“It’s a big part of the draw. A lot of people like the chance that you’re actually able to see it up close and personal,” Bickerstaff said. “Because there’s a difference when you’re sitting in the stands or watching it on TV and you see someone hoist it.”
Plus, Goldy the Gopher might show up, all setting the stage for next April.
“Everyone will know the Final Four will be here,” Bickerstaff said.
They are making 35 Fan Jam stops throughout the state. Here is where you can find the dates and times.