Josh Schroeder will root for USD when he attends the West Coast Conference men and women’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas this weekend. But he has a tournament of his own and two friends to thank for making his spring break vacation possible.
Schroeder, a sophomore industrial engineering student, won a video game competition at Frank’s Lounge in the Hahn University Center. Sponsored by the WCC and EA Sports’ NCAA Basketball 10 video game, the top prize was a trip to Las Vegas for two nights at The Orleans Hotel and all-session passes for the WCC Tournament, in which both USD teams will be playing in beginning Friday.
“My friends had heard about it and we signed up the day of the event,” Schroeder said.
He played three video game tournament contests, winning the first one in double overtime and then won the next two, including a win over one of his friends in the finale. “It was fun,” Schroeder said. “That first game was really exciting.”
Schroeder, who plays on USD’s club baseball team, has attended several USD basketball games and is looking forward to the trip. He admitted, though, that watching the “real” basketball tournament games wouldn’t be his sole focus. He’s one of eight WCC school representatives scheduled to compete in the PlayStation 3 EA Sports NCAA Basketball 10 Tournament on Sunday to determine the top video-game player among the eight WCC schools. Top prize is a Sony PlayStation 3, a library of EA games and a $5,000 scholarship from EA.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Schroeder said.
Schroeder won’t be the only USD student attending the WCC Tournament, which begins single-elimination games Friday for both Torero basketball teams — the women play Santa Clara at noon and the men play Santa Clara at 8:30 p.m. at The Orleans Arena.
Two other students, Jenna Rohrbacker and Catherine Hoppock, are also heading to the WCC Tournament and will have all-session tournament passes. Rohrbacker won the trip during a halftime tricycle race at a USD home basketball game last month, Matt Lawson, a USD athletics marketing assistant, said.
— Ryan T. Blystone
Tickets for the WCC Basketball Tournament are sold out at The Orleans Arena. There are, however, a very limited number of student tickets available for USD’s games on Friday at the Jenny Craig Pavilion Box Office until 4:30 p.m. today (March 3). For more information, call (619) 260-7886.