Managers only: Basketball staff playing its own game

(Photo courtesy of Drew Waddell)

Story by Gage Johnson

Senior writer

When you think of a manager, you likely imagine people doing laundry, filling up water bottles and catering to the needs of a coach during a game.

Yet, when the managers of Murray State’s men’s basketball team aren’t busy helping the Racers succeed, they’re participating on a team of their own.

Three years ago, a manager on another unknown university’s team began the manager games. Managers usually have contact with managers from different teams in order to get things like laundry done if they have to do it at the other team’s stadium among other managerial duties.

One night, after completing their jobs, a manager began a pickup game between the groups of managers the night before their respective universities’ games. The trend was soon adopted nationwide.

The league is three years in now and has its own website, national rankings and a Twitter page. Murray State even has its own Twitter page for its managers which promotes the Racers’ basketball team, as well as the managers themselves. Last season, the Racers’ manager team ranked as high as fourth in the country.

“It’s a really cool thing,” senior manager, Chase McAtee said. “Basically whoever we have on the schedule, we’ll just [Direct Message] them on Twitter and say, ‘Hey, you want to play tonight?’ [The managers] have a tournament in March at the end of the year and it’s really cool.”

Senior Drew Waddell has been a manager at Murray State for three seasons and is the head manager and main contact for the Racer managers’ games.

“The head of the manager games will send out a [Google] doc and you put a contact in,” Waddell said. “So you put your phone number in there and report your wins and losses. It’s been a really fun experience since I’ve been involved.”

The league is currently entering its third season, where Virginia Commonwealth University will look to defend its 2017-18 title. The Racers will look to bounce back from a 2-3 season a year ago.

Waddell said he looks forward to this year’s games and admires the fraternity and comradery the games encourage.

“I like the fact that there’s kind of like a brotherhood,” Waddell said. “Not many times do we encounter people who do the same things like us here. There’s shared experiences, similar stories and it’s kind of cool to just talk to those people.”