With their first exhibition match coming up on Sunday against Emory and Henry, the Lady Bucs hosted an interactive practice with the public on Tuesday night in Brooks Gym.
The team offered free pizza and fun giveaway prizes such as game tickets and t-shirts, all while showcasing their sport and giving the audience a little taste of what practices look like.
The 400 people that attended included both long time fans and some younger fans. Students, volleyball team members and young kids all participated in the games and challenges with the women’s team.
“The older generation wants their kids and their grandkids to be a part of something special,” said Head Coach Brittney Ezell. “I think everyone wants to feel a part of the team.”
Ezell also credits this interaction to her players, who are always trying to mix and mingle with different age groups no matter the circumstance.
Head Coach Ezell thoroughly enjoys this event and what it means to the basketball program. She has become very skilled in working a crowd with a microphone in hand and getting everyone involved.
Halfway through the fun and games, a young fan was picked from the crowd to make a basket for a free shirt. Eight shots into trying to make a basket, Coach Ezell decided that he could pick a player to help him out. Kelci Marosites (Elizabethton, Tenn.) was the lucky girl and helped him get the ninth basket. With all the excitement he fell to the floor and ran to hug Ezell while the crowd roared.
“That little guy that jumped out there, I’ll remember that as long as I live,” Ezell said.
There were not only shoot-offs, but fans were brought onto the court to play some 5 vs. 5 with the girls. In an interesting 4 vs. 3 match-up, the basketball team took on three players from the volleyball team, with both sides leaving the court confident in the sport they have chosen to play. Regardless, it was all entertaining to the audience.
This event was a means to promote the team with their upcoming matches at home, some of the biggest being against University of Tennessee on Nov. 15 and Vanderbilt University on Dec. 8.
Ezell hopes that all the fans that showed up for the practice will show up in blue and gold throughout the season and share the same excitement they filled Brooks Gym with on Tuesday night.