By Leonardo Faria Chusán, Daily Bruin contributor

March 3, 2010

While it wasn't the usual cast of celebrities occupying courtside seats at this game, college students made their presence strongly felt as they took over these coveted STAPLES center seats and showed their support for the Los Angeles D-Fenders as they took on the Utah Flash.

On Friday, Feb. 26, the STAPLES center was taken over by the Greek community, the college Greek community that is. Sororities and fraternities from college campuses across the city attended the game and showed their support for their L.A. D-Fenders.

The atmosphere was positive from the opening tip, as cheers from the crowd gave the game a lively personality that is not usually present at these games.

A portion of the crowd in attendance was made up of UCLA students who distinguished themselves by constantly cheering for UCLA alum, Fey, and expectedly jeering USC alum, Gabe Pruitt of the Utah Flash.

Pruitt, who began the season with the D-Fenders, was at the receiving end of friendly jokes and heckling especially from UCLA students who sat courtside and were fortunate enough to be in yelling range of the players on the court.

It was a great day to be present at the D-Fenders game as fans were treated to not only a high scoring game, but also an emotionally charged one that involved three technical fouls, all coming in the second-quarter.

While eventually falling short, 110 to 118 to the Utah Flash, the fans were clearly satisfied with the performance of the D-Fenders and more importantly grateful for the chance to participate in such an event.

“Just to be here, courtside is a treat. It’s a good place, it’s a great time and a great experience,” said Alex Aceues, a member of UCLA Zeta Beta Tau.

D-Fenders games provide fans with an opportunity to enjoy professional level talent in a setting that would otherwise be nearly impossible to be a part of. The proximity fans experience to these athletes is something that cannot be easily duplicated.

“Sitting in seats that are reserved for A-list celebrities and the fact that we get to sit here, be center stage and actually be this close to the action is an amazing experience,” said Matthew Baskharoon, another member of UCLA Zeta Beta Tau.

On the same note, players are reminded of the importance of fan support especially as they embark on a journey to make it to the next level.

“I wish we could have them every game. We appreciate all of them coming out. It made it more of a basketball environment with fans cheering with us and for us,” said Fey.