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Between The Court And Me

KJ Walton catching his breath.

BY CHEYN ROUX | Ball State Sports Link

One more day.

We have all felt those feelings before. Whether it is the start of a new season, new job or a new opportunity — the nerves are inevitable.

Even if it is the start of something you have been working on every day for as long as you can remember, days like Tuesday always feel different because it’s a fresh start. Tuesday is a fresh start for Ball State men’s basketball.

Any athlete past or present knows the angst. The itch. There is no feeling like it, and you feel that way because you care.

You may loathe the nerves, but you wouldn’t feel those nerves if you didn’t care.

Zach Gunn shooting a foul shot.

It was interesting to observe the nerves through a camera lens when Ball State played the University of Indianapolis in an exhibition on Nov. 2.

Some of these players have been waiting since the loss against Kent State on March 8.

It was an abrupt ending to a rollercoaster season with highs and lows, but the Cardinals already had their eyes set for the 2018-2019 season.

Some players have had to wait extra time. Key redshirts had to sit out last year as well, only having the itch multiply.

The audience may not know it, but an athlete’s mind is going 100 miles per hour because of all this build-up, wanting to play. It’s a rush of adrenaline you have to let loose.

Brachen Hazen driving to the hoop.

The Cardinals are going into this season as confident as ever.

This season is Ball State’s sixth under head coach James Whitford’s direction. The Cardinals have averaged 20.3 victories over the past three years, winning MAC West Division championships in both 2016 and 2017.

With Ball State’s crop of returning players plus three eligible transfers, the Cardinals’ active roster boasts a total of 4,997 career points.

Between the mixture of fresh faces along with solid upperclassmen, that combination only creates growth and confidence as the season goes on.

Josh Thompson finding space.

And you can see it within the seniors.

When you are coming to the end of the road in your collegiate career, you can’t help but realize you have to enjoy the ride. There is nothing quite like playing a collegiate sport.

It is another chance to create something great through the craft you have dedicated your time to, and there is no point holding anything back because it’s there for the taking.

Trey Moses and Tayler Persons share a laugh with the ref.

As observers, there are moments we see with our own eyes, we can recall and recount at the end of a game.

However, there are many moments we miss.

These moments — between the court and me are — the moments most people miss but define how the game looked from my perspective as a photographer.

These moments can seem small, but the small moments always are actually the big ones.

Whether as a player, coach, fan, ref or reporter — those moments start again tomorrow.

A fresh start. 0-0.

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KJ Walton, Jarron Coleman, and Kyle Mallers rush back on defense.

Editor’s Note: Cheyn Roux is pursuing his Masters in Digital Storytelling and is an avid photographer.  A former collegiate soccer player, Roux’s work can be viewed at https://www.cheynrouxphotography.com

About Cheyn Roux (4 Articles)
Graduate Assistant in Sports Link at Ball State University

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