On Tuesday, Feb. 12, a number of UNCG students came out for dinner and a movie in honor of Valentine’s Day. With a combination of a steamy Italian dinner catered by Sal’s Italian, and the classic “Love and Basketball,” this kickoff to ACE’s “For the Love of Spartans” week was one for the books.
This was the first Valentine’s dinner and movie led by ACE’s special events coordinator Jazmine Rouser. When questioned about the purpose of holding this event, Rouser states, “This event is part of a weeklong series of events from Feb. 11 through to the 16. ‘For the Love of Spartans’ was organized to make sure students feel the love in the air and also get that sense of pride for being a spartan.”
She continues to explain, “It was crazy how the process for choosing the movie came about because there were so many movies to choose from- but then we had to go through a licensing company, and we had to buy the rights to the movie. So to finalize it, we had a poll on the ACE instagram, and the majority chose Love and Basketball.” There was a committee of 20 people led by Jazmine, who also had the help of her advisor in organizing this event.
For desert, there was a variety of cookies, lemonade and sweet tea for refreshment. As the lights went down, students settled in their seats, chatting more quietly in anticipation for the romance flick. While the movie proceeded, the room was filled with hoots, hollers and laughs shared among everyone watching.
The cult classic is based loosely on the writer’s own life and encompasses the lifelong development of a relationship between neighbors Marion and Quincy who are deeply passionate and dedicated to basketball. The two face their respective cultural gender issues in their home and social life as they chase their dreams of playing professional basketball.
One great thing about the film was the vast timeframe, as the audience really connected with the two main characters who grew from children into adulthood. It felt like an honest and realistic depiction of these characters, while still maintaining the humor and love that makes the story so beloved.
It was around 10 p.m. when the movie came to a close. As people were filing out of the auditorium immersed in conversation, one student wrapped themselves up in their blanket before braving the cold night.
While slowly heading out, a few students had some great things to say about the event and the movie. In an interview with Deh’Asia Ratliff, a UNCG sophomore majoring in Kinesiology, she stated, “I personally liked it because ‘Love and Basketball’ is one of my favorite movies and the food was really tasty. They need to have another event like this because I would come out to all of them.”
Deh’Asia and her peers Janee McFarlane and Emani Foye expressed how great it was to be able to have dinner and a movie on campus provided by the school.
In another interview with UNCG student Tiana Ramey, she commented, “The food was good and the cheesecake was bomb! I feel like it was a movie that everybody loves, and it’s a classic. There were things that we can all relate to. We’re all in college, and everyone battles relationship issues, so it was really a good movie to connect with and laugh at. I enjoyed myself.”
ACE really set the bar with this event, as the students praised the event, having enjoyed their time.
Not only was this event great as a Valentines Day festivity, but it was fun to attend with a partner or some friends. It was also ideal for those students who mostly stay on campus to have a screening and dinner somewhere close by to attend.