… and the crowd goes WILD

Doug Gulasy

Flash fans attend winter preview

From left: Fans Wade Kratzer, Michael Harris, Dan Knopp, Brendon Jenkins and Dick Fallon sing loudly at the KSU Basketball Showcase, held in the M.A.C. REBECCA MOIDEL | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Dan Kloock

WATCH footage of the Basketball Showcase.

All of the trademarks of basketball season were on display at the M.A.C. Center last night.

The cheerleaders and dance team were in attendance, as was the mascot, Flash. The band played several songs from its repertoire, including “Hey Baby,” “Soul Man” and the Kent State fight song.

Fans who attended seemed to be in midseason form as the men’s and women’s basketball teams were introduced, executing chants such as: “Mike who? Mike SCOTT!” when players stepped onto the court.

It was all part of the “KSU Basketball Showcase,” a look at the men’s and women’s basketball teams before the regular season begins next weekend.

“Overall, the event was wonderful,” said Zachary Svette, a senior recreation management major who helped to organize the event last night with other members of his Event Planning and Production class. “I wish more of the student population could have come out and enjoyed some of the festivities tonight, but (I hope they) come support (their) men’s and women’s basketball teams this year.”

The main event last night was the introduction of the 2007-08 women’s and men’s basketball teams, who entered the gym accompanied by smoke, cheers and the song “Sirius” by Alan Parsons Project.

The teams went through drills — the women’s team executed layups and jump shots at one end of the court while the men’s team showed off with fancy dunks at the other end.

Even Flash tried to get in on the basketball action, but the mascot’s first shot attempt of the evening was an air ball, drawing laughs and razzing from the crowd.

Another part of the festivities included the giveaways of several prizes. Sophomore accounting major Tom Bernato won the grand prize, two tickets to the Kent State men’s basketball game at North Carolina on Jan. 2.

“It’s great because I was thinking about going to the game anyway,” Bernato said. “I have a friend in North Carolina.”

Other winners included Dick Fallon, sophomore physical education major, who took home the “ultimate sack,” a large bean-bag chair, and Kyle Hallock, freshman sports administration major, who won one free pizza a week for a year from Hungry Howie’s Pizza.

Fallon won the ultimate sack in a spirit contest by dancing on the court with a couple of women’s basketball players.

“I love to dance, and dancing’s definitely one of my strong points in life,” he said.

After Hallock won Knockout by defeating a female opponent in the final round, most of the students in attendance booed him.

“The crowd was kind of against me, but I’ll still take it,” Hallock said, adding that people would probably be “coming over to the dorm room asking for a couple pieces” of pizza.

Other prizes given away included an Xbox 360, an iPod and a party at the Rathskeller.

Of course, while last night made for a preview of the season, some fans are anxious for the games to begin.

“I’m very excited (for the basketball season),” junior architecture major Wade Kratzer said. “This (men’s) team is probably the one to do it — I’m looking at Sweet 16.”

Contact sports reporter Doug Gulasy at [email protected].