One fan will represent Flyer Faithful in The Basketball Tournament

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Dayton Flyers fans: Fun facts

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Andrew Bostick, a 2020 Springboro graduate, bid $1,500 to join team

The last crowd to watch the Dayton Flyers play numbered 13,407. Next week, when the Dayton alumni team, the Red Scare, plays in The Basketball Tournament, they will have one fan in attendance — and he’ll have the best seat in Nationwide Arena, right on the bench.

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Andrew Bostick, a 2020 Springboro High School graduate, bid $1,500 for what amounts to an all-access pass to the $1 million winner-takes-all event that starts Saturday in Columbus. He’ll arrive in Columbus with the other members of the Red Scare on Friday and could be there until the tournament ends July 14 if the team advances to the championship.

Bostick was asked Tuesday if he feels the pressure to cheer extra loud, knowing he’ll be the only Flyer fan who will see the team play in person. The tournament is closed to fans.

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“Yes, I do,” Bostick said. “A few people have already told me that on Twitter.”

Bostick used his own money, saved from two years of working at Jersey Mike’s Subs and for delivering meals for DoorDash this spring, to make the winning bid.

Former Dayton walk-on Joey Gruden, who’s managing the Red Scare, invited fans to bid for a spot on the team on Twitter on June 17. The starting price was $1,000. Six people made bids. Bostick didn’t expect to have the top bid.

Gruden wanted to raise money to help with travel costs for the players. The team raised $5,135 dollars from 61 donors on GoFundMe.com. Bostick’s $1,500 donation pushed the team over its fund-raising goal of $5,000.

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The Red Scare is allowed to have 13 people on the bench, and as of Wedneday afternoon, its group numbered 12.

That includes nine players: former Flyers Rob Lowery, Devin Oliver, Jalen Robinson, Kyle Davis, Darrell Davis, Ryan Mikesell and Trey Landers; former Louisville guard Ryan McMahon; and former Ohio State center Trevor Thompson. Former Virginia Commonwealth forward Justin Tillman had to withdraw from the tournament this week.

The non-players who will sit on the bench are Gruden, Bostick and Griffin Quinn, a University of Dayton senior who will run the team’s social media accounts. Quinn is a communication and English major from Lindenhurst, Ill. He’s editor in chief of the UD student paper, the Flyer News.

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Gruden said Bostick will experience everything the players do, including the 24-hour quarantine period everyone has to go through after checking into the Hyatt Regency in downtown Columbus.

“He’s got to show up on time with our team,” Gruden said. “He’s going to eat meals with our guys. He’s going to sit on the bench with our guys. He’s going to get the TBT gear everyone gets. He’ll be at all our practices. Hopefully, he’ll help me out with rebounding and stuff like that. Hopefully, he brings some UD energy to the bench because it’s going to be dead in there.”

Bostick, who plans to attend Ohio State University and major in health science with a focus on physical therapy, has been a UD fan all his life. He said his mom Jennifer is a Dayton graduate and is a third-generation season-ticket holder. She and his dad Randy supported his decision to bid for a spot on the team, Bostick said, in part because they didn’t get to take a planned trip to the NCAA tournament in March when it was cancelled by the coronavirus pandemic.

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The family sits in Section 221 at UD Arena and attended every game last season. Bostick grew up cheering for the likes of Chris Wright and Oliver, and his earliest memory from the arena is going to a game against Miami with his uncle and winning a bucket of Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken.

Bostick already has taken advantage of his new role with the Red Scare. Several of the team members sent him videos congratulating his grandparents, who are also UD fans, on their 50th wedding anniversary.

The Red Scare was seeded eighth in the 24-team tournament and received a first-round bye. It will play Big X or the Jackson TN Underdawgs in the round of 16 at 2 p.m. July 8. It will be televised on ESPN.

“It’s going to be awesome,” Bostick said. “I just can’t wait to be with the team and see them at practice and sit on the bench.”