Like most students, Max Seguro begins his day by waking up, grabbing breakfast then going to his classes. On days when the UConn men’s basketball team plays, Seguro’s routine starts to look a little different once he finishes up his work. Roughly five hours before tip, he, along with 10-15 other superfans, line up outside of Gampel Pavilion to ensure they can snag the hottest and most sought-after seats at the front of the student section.
The time that Seguro and his friends arrive is largely determined through a series of texts and takes effort to coordinate. If other fans post on Twitter that they’ve already arrived, he might go earlier so that he doesn’t get too far behind anyone else planning to come early.
Many people may look at fans like Seguro and wonder why he decides to spend so many hours in the harsh cold of Storrs, CT. What makes this an appealing activity?
“We started because we realized that never again in our life–unless one of us really does well–will we be able to afford to sit courtside at a big event like this,” Seguro mentioned. “We decided to take advantage of this now, we get free seats. It’s just waiting and we’re all friends. We can sit there for the five hours, that’s nothing.”
A senior Economics and Communications double major from West Hartford, Seguro has followed the Huskies for much of his life.
“UConn basketball has always been a passion for me, a lot more as I grew older because my mom worked in the athletics department before I was even born,” Seguro said. “Growing up in Connecticut too, you get to choose between New York and Boston teams, but nothing really feels like your own. To have UConn basketball, that felt like something was my own; I didn’t feel like I was stealing it from some other place.”
Although Seguro has followed the Huskies through thick and thin, he felt a disconnect once legendary coach Jim Calhoun left and things began to go south for the program. It wasn’t until his first year as a student himself when he rediscovered his love for the Huskies.
“Freshman year, the UConn vs. Memphis game at the XL Center was the moment that I really got back into it,” noted Seguro. “That was the game where it just switched for me. I had to go to all of them after that.”
Even though Coach Dan Hurley’s first signature win against the Tigers was the big moment for Seguro, he didn’t start camping out until last year.
“Freshman year, we were just happy to be there and we weren’t as fixated on being at the front,” said Seguro. “Last year because we missed out on so much with COVID-19, we decided we were going to go to the front row every single time and it’s worked out pretty well.”
After waiting in line with the same people for such a long amount of time, there’s a level of camaraderie that develops.
“Our bond is really tight,” mentioned Seguro. “We just stand there, we’ve become really close friends with everyone who’s there in line with us and we just talk about sports. It’s a sports nerd’s dream. The closer we get to opening up the doors, the more exciting it gets.”
One of the biggest things that drives the group’s motivation is the support they’ve gotten from fans all around the country, particularly those on Twitter. Fans, namely user BigLarryForearm, sends them pizza to help the group make it through the wait.
“When they send us food, it means a lot,” Seguro said. “It shows that people appreciate what we do and the passion that we have. It’s rewarding to know that someone’s looking after you. Most of those fans have done the same things as we do, so they know how cold it gets up here and how hungry you get. I really do appreciate it because it’s good to know that people are seeing us and seeing the passion we put into this.”
Perhaps even bigger than the fan support was the recognition they received from Coach Hurley. Prior to the Huskies’ big win over Oklahoma State on Dec. 1, the head coach visited the group and thanked them for their support.
“It was very cool,” Seguro noted. “I wasn’t expecting that. I knew word was going around that we had been there that early–we got there at 10 a.m. that day–but to see him come out and greet us that was a top highlight. I know he loves us and he appreciates us coming out so it was really awesome.”
Seguro and his fellow fans will continue supporting and powering their Huskies, especially as they look to break out of an eight game rut. He’s not concerned about the team though. Seguro sees just one more regular season loss in the Huskies’ future, with nothing but victories in their remaining home games. As for March? He foresees Connecticut cutting down the nets in Madison Square Garden at the Big East Tournament, along with a deep run in March. This may seem a bit far-fetched after the Huskies’ play of late, but with the support and commitment of fans like Seguro, nothing is impossible.