Basketball Fan Fest 2017

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This past weekend our Kentucky Wesleyan basketball programs (both men’s and women’s teams) hosted our first fan fest event. The event was constructed as an opportunity for our most loyal fans and students to get to know KWC’s basketball teams. It turned out to also be a great event for younger local kids, as we had trivia games and different contests that gave them no choice but to interact and have a good time with us. With Fan Fest being our first experience as a team, and in terms of the event taking place itself, some of us did not know exactly how it would turn out. It surely exceeded our expectations.

Fan Fest was hosted at the Owensboro Sportscenter, where both basketball teams play their home games. Usually, by this time of the year we would’ve already practiced at the Sportscenter, but this year we weren’t able to because of the gym being renovated. It was very exciting for us to have the event there because our first day practicing in the gym was earlier in the day before Fan Fest. Although, the wait on the Sportscenter was well worth it. The floor is redone and it feels much better to run and jump on.

The first few events of Fan Fest were events that allowed the kids to enjoy themselves. For example, we pulled 3 kids from the crowd and laid men-sized shorts, shirts, and shoes, all down the court in a straight line in front of them. The kids had to race down the court, stopping to change into the overly big clothing/shoes, and the first kid to make it down the court and make a shot at the end, won. It was an event full of laughter and cuteness to say the least. You can tell that there was a great energy in the gym. The event also included a shooting contest, a dunk contest, and a short purple vs. white scrimmage for the men’s team.

The dunk contest started off the night. The contestants we chose for the contest from our team were Harold “Bird” Caldwell, Dakota Quinn, and Evan Milligan. The contest was highly anticipated, to say the least, by the contestants and even the teammates who were watching on. The dunk contest resulted in Dakota Quinn being crowned champion. It was fun to see the new guys having fun and putting on a show for the crowd. As a teammate and one of the only returners, it’s always a great feeling knowing the first-year guys are enjoying themselves. Next was a shooting contest, which had a lot on the line. The rules were that there were 3 teams of 4 (made up of 2 women’s players and 2 men’s players) and each team assigned a kid from the crowd as their captain. If one of the teams won, the team captain won free Chick-Fil-A for a year. I was not aware, but I was assigned to team 1. The object of the shooting contest was related to a relay race with a basketball. The first person was assigned to make a reverse lay-up, the second had to make a free throw, the third had to make a corner three, and the last participant had to make a top of the key three. The trick is, the teams are not done until one participant makes a half- court shot. Here is where my team had trouble. Unfortunately, team 1 did not take the crown home, but our little man still got a Chick-Fil-A gift card. The event was another one that was fun for the fans and got the kids involved.

Lastly, we got to play up and down as a team for 2 10-minute halves. This game was not very serious or real game-like. Coach Happy was probably not very thrilled at all with how we played. It was, however, a great chance for our fans to get to see us do what we love and work so hard at every day. Also, it was important for our team to get out there and get a feel of playing on the new court of the Sportscenter. Getting a feel in a gym is sometimes needed in basketball.

Overall, as a basketball player here at Wesleyan, I think this Fan Fest was a tradition starter. It was great this year and we had so much fun. If I’m speaking from my personal point of view, the event created such a great and positive energy heading into the season, not only for us players, but also the kids and loyal fans of the community. Events like these wake us up to our importance not only as players, but also as young men. The impact we have as student athletes at KWC goes so far past just ourselves and the sport we play. Fan Fest allowed a lot of us players to build relationships and interact with the kids in a fun fashion. Hopefully the event was enough to persuade our KWC faithfuls to pack the gym and support as much as possible come game days.

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