On Wednesday, Oct. 30 at the HTC center was a night no student or faculty member ever wants to miss: the annual Hoopla event.
The night included introductions of the men’s and women’s basketball teams with each athlete walking (and dancing) through smoke, one by one, to each athlete’s favorite song. The evening was filled with friendly competitions, all judged by a panel made up of players, the crowd, and our very own mascot, Chauncy.
Many University organizations attended this event to join in on the fun, including sororities and fraternities in the hopes of racking up more points for Homecoming. Samantha Chabot, a new member of Phi Sigma Sigma sorority, said that “it was really cool watching my friends on the basketball team out on the court getting ready for their season and it was great to see all the sorority and frats in attendance. I think it brought a lot more energy to the event.”
The first of the evening’s events was a three-point contest. The competition resulted in women’s basketball player Caitlyn Roche, a senior, hitting 8 threes in 60 seconds while Tyrell Gumbs-Frater from the men’s team hit 7.
The following event was a dunking contest which brought everyone in the stands on their feet. Ahmard Harvey, a freshman, performed a “360 windmill” dunk as well as a “rock the cradle” and received all 9’s from the judges.
Other activities, which involved the students in the stands, included a half-court shot contest in which a student sunk the basketball in and received a scooter as a prize. The dance contest was a crowd favorite; onlookers enjoyed watching both fellow Chants and athletes make a move.
Hosana Kitenge, a freshman forward from Sussex, England, loved being a part of the dance contest, and said, “it was great to get in front of the home crowd for the first time and put on a show. We’re looking forward to getting to the business side of things in the HTC this coming Tuesday and we hope to have the same turn out and start the season off with a win.”
Coach Ellis, the head coach for the men’s team, reminded the student body that “the season starts in 6 days and as a team we have got to have you with us.” As a university, the excitement and hype that students will bring into the gym will radiate to and motivate the players.
The men’s team kicked off the season on Tuesday, Nov. 5 with a home game against Campbell University at 7pm. You will have a chance to see the men play at home four times before they host the Myrtle Beach Invitational on Nov. 21-24, opening the tournament against Utah on the 21st at 7pm.
The women’s team opened their season on Friday, Nov. 8 against Arkansas Pine Bluff at the HTC Center at 5pm.