Despite the ominous rain clouds and an occasional gust of wind, the May 9 Spring BBQ roared throughout the early evening at the Icardo Center. The combination of the barbecue’s tantalizing food, festive outside musical performances and large attendance resulted in both an appreciation of CSUB athletics and a pleasing event that satisfied many.
“The barbecue was pretty great,” said Saleh Obeid, a sophomore economics major. “The food was delicious, there was no shortage of entertainment and I was able to reconnect with friends that I hadn’t seen in years. I had a really good time.”
While some people were spotted simply retrieving their food and heading home, many others were drawn to the event’s diversified entertainment. A silent auction was held throughout the night in toward the eastern end of the Icardo Center, featuring items ranging from boxes of raisins and tri-tip to an autographed helmet by Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and a signed electric guitar by Merle Haggard. For those not looking to bid, Foster Campbell and Friends’s smooth rhythm and upbeat music outside of the Icardo Center drew a large audience that socialized amongst itself for most of the night. People with shier personalities were treated to a varied musical playlist within the Icardo Center, spanning the musical flavors of modern hip hop to the cabaret-style tunes of Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble.
For many of the coaches and athletes involved, the barbecue was also an opportunity to connect with fans and supporters of CSUB athletics, an opportunity some athletes relished.
“I think it’s really nice to see all of these people,” said Star Tucker, a freshman volleyball player. “Especially that we’re such a small school, support has come a long way. We’re not really known for anything too big, so it’s great that they came out and supported us.”
“It’s exciting whenever you can get your fans, your alum and your community involved on campus; it’s a great thing,” said men’s basketball head coach Rod Barnes.
“Our players embrace this community. We get excited when more people show up on campus. They get a chance to meet our players, and we get a chance to meet our fans, and we get a chance as coaches to interact with them,” Barnes added.
In that regard, many alumni and former athletes were able to revel in the night’s activities. From time to time, groups of alumni could be seen gathered around different tables throughout the night, sometimes hugging and crying upon seeing familiar faces and reflecting on their days of youth.
“It was just a great overall night,” Obeid said. “I’m sure I’ll be coming back for the next barbecue.”