Women for Madison behind the scenes with VIPs at the Atlantic Union Bank Center

JMU News
 
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SUMMARY: More than 80 guests, including Women for Madison, joined JMU student-athletes, coaches and alumni behind the scenes at the AUBC for the Brunch with a Bounce event on Sunday, Jan. 28.


On game nights, up to 8,500 fans fill JMU’s Atlantic Union Bank Center to watch Sun Belt champions and 1,000-point players on the court, but when our student athletes aren’t chasing their dreams, this preeminent facility is still full of activity. Take a look behind the scenes of the AUBC as guests enjoy VIP tours during the exclusive event, jointly sponsored by Women for Madison and the JMU Duke Club.

 

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Just behind the AUBC’s public doors, there’s a private entrance for JMU basketball players and coaches, according to facility director Curtis Stoneberger. While ticketholders walk straight through to the arena, team members can gain access here — to work out, study and practice — even while other events are underway.

 

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Next stop: face time with fan-favorite Coach O! Women’s Basketball Head Coach Sean O’Regan (’03) answers questions while proudly pointing to the trophy wall of professional players who once called JMU home.

 

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One of JMU’s all-time best shooting and rebounding guards, Kirby Burkholder (’14) surprises guests with an appearance in the courtside lounge. Burkholder announced her retirement from professional basketball days prior, ending a 10-year pro career which included time with the Washington Mystics and international teams in Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Puerto Rico.

 

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Only a few days after star shooter Peyton McDaniel scored a career-high 33 points against Southern Miss, she was greeting fans and posing for a snapshot with Duke Club member Jo Wilson. Having secured the title of Sun Belt champion, participated in the NCAA Tournament, and earned the prestigious Sun Belt Sixth Woman of the Year award last season, McDaniel is a force of optimism and leadership on campus.

 

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Affectionately referred to as “the glue” by Coach O, forward Stephanie Oudekirk is well known for her marquee performance in the 2023 Sun Belt Championship game. For today’s VIPs, Oudekirk reveals the team’s film room and shares how they prep before games. She said the team has fresh chemistry and rhythm moving into February matchups.

 

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Barbara Bouldin (’87), center left, represents Women For Madison — a giving society devoted to student scholarships — as she soaks in the backstage atmosphere. WFM has raised more than $1.25 million to help 27 deserving young people access the Madison Experience. “When I think of prospective students taking their first tour, I know exactly how they feel,” Bouldin said. “If you have the choice, you want to be at JMU. I’m helping to give them that choice.”

 

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JMU parent, grad and Alumni Association Board Member Gina Friend (’92) tests out her best broadcaster voice at the media table. Attendees also enjoyed a champagne brunch, a look inside the Campanelli Club and networking with fellow Dukes.

 

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Even the youngest fans find inspiration at the AUBC! Wondering how you can score an invitation like this? Join Women For Madison on social media so you’ll never miss an event.

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Published: Monday, February 5, 2024

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 7, 2024

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