Andrew Yang and J.D. Scholten supporters shot hoops while they waited for presidential-hopeful Yang to walk through the doors of the Ames Community Center gym.
David Volkmann, senior in aerospace engineering, and Brittney Katelsen, Iowa State alumna, said they saw Yang’s bus outside and were enthusiastic they could join the event.
“He is our favorite candidate of the group,” Volkmann said.
Sarah Bartlett, senior in anthropology, said Scholten’s height gives him the advantage.
“I’m really here to see how this differs from other events,” Bartlett said.
As more Iowa State students made their way into the gym, some said that although they like Yang, they thought Scholten would win the game.
“Scholten is pretty tall,” Bartlett said.
However, after Yang entered the gym wearing “MATH” attire, Scholten and Yang surprised the crowd by playing together in a game of three-on-three basketball.
“Me and J.D. teamed up, just like we are going to team up to beat Donald Trump,” Yang said.
Sonya Harwood, senior in anthropology, said this was refreshing to see.
“I feel like healthy competition goes far, but they are saying we are on the same team,” Harwood said.
With the event focused on basketball, Harwood said she thought the event was different than what other candidates do.
“This is both local and national combined together in such a unique way,” Harwood said.
Bartlett said Yang is different than other politicians that have been through the Ames area so far.
"'I’m gonna get sweaty and look ridiculous,' not something you expect from a politician,” Bartlett said.
Katelsen said this made Yang very “approachable.”
”He’s playing basketball,” Katelsen said. “It’s pretty down to earth.”
Dylan Russmann, sophomore in political science, also said this is something other than what a “normal politician” would do.
“He’s in this auditorium with everyone else,” Russman said.
The Yang and Scholten team lost the game.
Speaking with reporters after the game, Yang said he is getting ready to watch the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk series men’s basketball game tonight, though would not say if he has a favorite.
“I’m pro-Iowa, the state of Iowa,” Yang said.