The prospect of a fierce fight between two ACC college basketball powerhouses on Feb. 9 brought more attention than usual to John Paul Jones Arena, as ESPN College Game Day broadcast live from the Cavs’ home court. The traveling pregame college basketball show has been sponsored by State Farm for the past 15 years and local agent Gary Albert represented the insurance giant during the Charlottesville broadcast.
“This is a great way to give back to the community,” Albert, who owns offices in Charlottesville and Lake Monticello, said.
The ESPN Gameday bus was parked at Albert’s office in Charlottesville the day before the game and he invited community members to share the experience with him.
“State Farm sponsors eight games every season as part of College Gameday,” Albert, who is a basketball coach himself, said. “And although we are part of a larger corporation, we are all small business owners. So it’s a privilege to enjoy something like this with the community,” Albert said.
A staple of the College Gameday festivities is the half-court shot by a University of Virginia student. The past three years all contestants were able to make the shot.
This year was no different.
“It’s amazing when you think about it,” Albert said. “Four years in a row a student made that shot.”
Albert was on the court to hand the lucky student an $18,000 check, courtesy of State Farm.