San Diego State preparing for Final Four showdown in Houston
The San Diego State Men's Basketball team is playing its best basketball season ever.
Saturday, Aztec players face an NCAA Final Four matchup with Florida Atlantic in Houston’s NRG Stadium built to hold up to 72,000 fans.
SDSU Guard Miles Byrd said it’s the largest venue he’s ever played.
“Here with the elevated court and March Madness everywhere, Final Four logos are everywhere, it's insane," Byrd said.
Elijah Saunders is another forward on the team. He said the size of the stadium will not be a distraction for the team.
“You shortly realize it’s still just a basketball court. Even though it’s in the middle of such a big arena, it’s still just 94 feet and two hoops, so nothing should change, really, for us," he said.
As the NCAA slogan goes, "the Road ends here" in Houston. The largest city in Texas turned out to be familiar territory for some of the members of the Aztec team.
Jaeson LeDee grew up in Houston and tried to tell his teammates what to expect.
“It’s awesome. It’s real Southern, real laid back. They tried to get me to explain Houston to them. But, you have to go there and feel it," LeDee said.
Aztecs Forward Aguek Arop and his family escaped to Houston 20 years ago as refugees from the war-torn African nation of Sudan.
This game is for them.
“This is where it all started. Knowing they left everything behind for an opportunity for their children to have a better life. Being back in Houston, I can’t help but think about my parents," he said.