On Monday I was granted an interview with Gen Mezinskis, she won the Aspen Dental Big East Sweepstakes. Gen a fellow UC fan and graduate watched the Big East tournament live in New York and attended a meet and greet event that Bill Raftery and former legendary Big East coaches attended.
JT: How was your experience?
Gen: It was fabulous. It was fun to go. New York was great. Only thing that could have made it better is if Cincinnati was playing. It wasn’t first time I’ve been to New York, but first time to the Big East Tournament. (Aspen Dental provided tickets to go to the semifinals and final games on Saturday)
JT: What teams were you rooting for? What teams did you want to lose? (because the Bearcats were already out)
Gen: Out of the teams that were left, I’m kind of torn, but I guess it’s Notre Dame because of the uniforms. Out of all of the teams I was probably rooting for Louisville only because we’ve had the most history with them.
JT: Did you get to see a lot of sights while you were there?
Gen: It was a quick trip, went to Empire State Building, walked around Times Square and Grand Central Station. On Saturday before the game got to see the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Good timing for the trip.
JT: At the tournament, did they call you out on mid-court?
Gen: No, but we had good seats. We were allowed to bring a guest. I went with my boyfriend. He is not a Bearcat fan, but he has become one.
JT: Did you see any famous people, big east legends?
Gen: At the tournament, not really, but the great thing about the sweepstakes is that Aspen Dental hosted a Legends Reception. It was 1.5 hours long, hosted by Bill Raftery, and everyone talked about their time as coaches. John Chaney was there from Temple. When I was in school I remember when UC would play Temple. P.J. Carlesimo was there who coached Seton Hall along with Bill Raftery. The fun point that they all had was with Tim Higgins, a ref, and there were plenty of Syracuse fans in the room and they were not always huge fans [of Higgins]. It was fun to see the interaction between the coaches and him. The coaches were no holds barred on talking, telling stories. I was the grand prize winner of the Sweepstakes, but there were other people there.
JT: Which moment did you pick to win the contest?
Gen: The two UC options were Oscar Robinson playing at the Garden, scoring 56 points and UC winning in double OT vs Georgetown. I picked moment when UC beat Georgetown. Link
JT: Did you catch any flack being a Bearcat fan?
Gen: I wore my UC garb the entire time I was there, although the Georgetown folks had some discussion with us about the Georgetown win the night before.
JT: Do you think the Bearcats are going to win on Friday? (March Madness)
Gen: Hopefully Cincinnati will win on Friday.
JT: Do you live in the Cincinnati area?
Gen: I live in Charlotte, NC for past 8 years. My family still lives in Cincinnati, so I try to get back for 1 Bearcat game a year. In NC, there’s an alumni group and this year we drove up to the Marshall game.
I would like to thank Gen for taking the time out of her busy day on Monday to allow me time to interview her.