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Students, Athletes, Come Together for Midnight Madness

Slamfest, which included dunk contests, three-point contests, and a game of knockout, promoted men’s and women’s basketball at PLNU on Thursday, Oct. 26.

Head coach for the men’s basketball team, Ryan Looney, was looking forward to the night to introduce the 2017-2018 basketball teams to the students of PLNU.

“We thought it would be a good opportunity to promote some excitement around men’s and women’s basketball for the upcoming season,” Looney said. “And hopefully a way to generate an overall meeting place for everyone on campus on game day.”

About 200 students showed up and participated in a sign-making station, a stand to get tattoos and rowdy towels, and a face painting station.

When the night started, teams were introduced on both the women’s and men’s sides as a DJ played music customized to each player as they ran through a black lighted gym.

The first competition was a three-point contest which took place on both the women’s and men’s teams. The winner of each team then competed against each other.

In the final round of the three-point contest, senior on the men’s team, Yusuf Shehata squeezed out a win over freshman on the women’s team, Sydney Peterson.

After being awarded his sash and trophy for winning, Shehata was given the microphone to say a few words.

“I just want to thank my mama,” Shehata said.

The next event was for the students. They were able to write their names down on a raffle ticket and put it in a bowl at the start of the night. The hosts then pulled out the names of four girls and four guys to participate in a game of knockout.

The winner of the game, sophomore biology and chemistry double-major, Starr Rodenhurst, was swarmed by the both the women’s and men’s basketball teams after her victory.

Coach Looney wanted to involve the students just as much the athletes in the night’s events.

“We’re just going to try and make it as fun and interactive as possible,” Looney said. “It won’t be just student-athletes out on the floor.”

The last competition of the night was the dunk contest.

Competing in the contest were members of the men’s basketball team: Preston Beverly, Jack Langborg, Luke Lovelady, AJ Elliot, and Skyler White. Also included in the dunk contest was a student from the crowd.

White, a master student, went into the dunk contest with the hope that his experience would be the thing to win the competition.

“They’re alright,” White said. “But I’m going to show these young bucks how it’s done.”

White nearly hit his head with the air he caught to complete his behind the head dunk. He came up just short of the win to junior Preston Beverly, who won the dunk contest with a two handed dunk off a pass from the top of the bleachers made by teammate, Josh Rodriguez.

Beverly was awarded a golden crown for his win.

Students in the crowd were waving their rally towels and cheering on their Sea Lions

during this night and were happy to support their teams.

“Seeing how talented our teams are makes me stoked to see them in action,” Jackson

Wise, undeclared sophomore, said. “I had no idea that so many of our guys could dunk and how good both the girls and guys are at shooting. The games are better when more people are there and cheering, so I think an event like this is really dope and will fill up our bleachers more.”

This night was an opportunity for the students on campus to come and meet their men’s and women’s basketball teams and have the opportunity to look forward to the upcoming seasons.

“We want the overall campus to see that if they come, dive fully in, decide they want to be a part of it, attendance at a game can be more fun than just watching the game,” Looney said. “It’s a chance to bring all types of people from all corners of campus together in one big meeting place.”

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Jenna Miller

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